A look back at our 2017 farmers’ market season
We are so thankful to all the farmers, vendors, and market customers who made 2017 another truly wonderful market season. The three farmers markets we manage in Davis Square, Copley Square, and Central Square all had fantastic seasons filled with hardworking farmers and vendors, delicious local produce and foods, and hundreds of loyal customers.
An exciting development this season was the introduction of the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), a new statewide program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. HIP provides additional food dollars for local produce purchases for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) recipients at participating farmers’ markets, farm stands, community supported agriculture (CSA’s), and mobile markets.
The Mass Farmers Markets staff worked tirelessly to roll out HIP at our three markets, educate SNAP customers about the new initiative, and encourage farmers to accept HIP at their market stalls. Due to the high number of Russian and Mandarin speaking customers at our three markets, we hired two incredible translators, Olga and Huey, to help communicate information to customers. We are thrilled about the new HIP program because it makes healthy, local food more affordable and accessible to everyone in our community.
We are also extremely grateful for Whole Foods Cambridge’s support this season. Due to new paper bag laws in the City of Cambridge, every customer that used a paper bag this year was charged ten cents. Whole Foods donated all the proceeds from this year’s bag sales to Mass Farmers Markets. These proceeds will help Mass Farmers Markets continue to support Massachusetts farmers, farmers’ markets, and our local food economy.
We are already gearing up for our next farmers’ market season and are so excited for what next year will bring!
Thank you and see you next year!