The CityCenter Danbury Farmers’ Market opens on Friday, June 28 and will run every Friday through October 25 at Kennedy Park in downtown Danbury, Connecticut.
The Danbury Farmers’ Market has proved a place for community dialogue and healthy living since it’s start in 2007. A wellness van will be on site on opening day, and a UConn SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program –– formerly known as Food Stamps) Education Nutritionist will be there each Friday to introduce visitors to the ChooseMyPlate 10 Tips Nutrition Education series. HARTransit provides return bus passes for SNAP program participants so that they may better access the market.
With a recent grant of $20,000 from the Fairfield County Community Foundation ($5,000 more than last year) and additional matching grants, the “Better Health Through Better Food” program is able to expand and grow its significant services to seniors, women, infants, and children through the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers (FMNP) and the SNAP Program. By using a market coin system, DFMCC doubles the value of purchases, with up to $9 matched for program participants on each market day. In a recent survey, 86% of those receiving the match were eating more fruits and vegetables since participating in the program, and 2012 saw a record redemption amount that exceeded $800K. This program is a testament to local farmers, communities, and a variety of organizations coming together.
Peggy Zamore, DFMCC Director and public health nutritionist, says the “Better Health through Better Food” project addresses food inequality and significant concern about health issues associated with diabetes, heart disease, and childhood obesity.
“A nutritionist can teach about the right foods to eat for health, but without the resources to buy those healthy choices, many people cannot afford to change the way they eat,” said Zamore. “This program provides those resources, by giving people extra money to purchase the fresh fruits and vegetables they like and need to eat but cannot typically afford. Our program, by giving an additional $9 per market, will, over the course of the season, have a very positive health impact. Additionally, the accompanying weekly nutrition education program will provide useful food information.“
Andrea Gartner, Executive Director of CityCenter, places hosting the Farmers’ Market as not only a necessary service but as a welcomed community asset.
“Now in its sixth year in its downtown Danbury location, the CityCenter Farmers’ Market continues to grow and transform the gateway to our great city,” said Gartner. “Conveniently located off Main Street, our market is easy to access with plenty of parking. With a planned park upgrade by the City of Danbury this year and a community mosaic mural in the works for next, our Farmers’Market is one of Downtown’s success stories. We’ve created a vibrant community hub every Friday in the heart of city that is well worth the visit.”
For a list of participating farmers and vendors and for additional information, contact CityCenter Danbury at (203)792-1711 or visit citycenterdanbury.com