skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Air pollution linked to coal plants more deadly than previously thought; Israel-Hamas truce extends as aid reaches Gaza; high school seniors face big college application challenges.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

House Republicans differ on January 6th footage, Speaker Johnson says any Ukraine funding must include changes to border policy and former New Jersey Governor Christie says former President Trump is fueling anti-Semitism and hate.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural low income youth, especially boys, experience greater economic mobility than those in cities, a new government rule should help level the playing field for small poultry growers, and the Kansas Governor wants her state to expand Medicaid.

Farmers Markets Help MA Shoppers Eat Healthier, Beat Inflation

play audio
Play

Friday, October 21, 2022   

Some low-income shoppers might assume farmers markets, with their specialty products, are out of reach. But more of these markets in the Commonwealth are accepting public benefits such as SNAP for fresh produce, helping farmers earn a profit and families eat healthier.

The state-run Healthy Incentives Program provides a dollar-for-dollar reimbursement when SNAP users buy healthy, local food directly from Massachusetts farmers. A family of six, for example, can receive an additional $80 a month on their EBT cards to spend at their local farmers market.

"If we can get this directly into people's kitchens and we can just cover our cost of what it takes to distribute it," said Rich Allium, mobile market manager for Atlas Farms in Deerfield, "then we consider it a win."

A state survey found that each HIP dollar spent results in an additional $2 in local economic impact, when farmers spend that money on local goods and services. Since its creation in 2017, more than 113,000 households have used HIP. Some 44% of those families include seniors, and 30% include children.

Allium meets these families at his mobile farmers market, a converted bus he brings to senior centers in Franklin County and food pantries in Turners Falls and Greenfield. He also works with the Holyoke Housing Authority to ensure pop-up farmers markets visit so-called "food deserts."

John Rivera, who manages the Holyoke Farmers Market, one of the oldest in the country, said many farmers offer their customers not just produce, but useful recipes and even tips on how to grow food themselves.

"When you go to a farmers market," he said, "you're not only getting, really, a big bang for your buck, but you're also coming down to the roots of how it was grown, how can you store it - so many other, like, hidden perks."

A study of HIP's first year found that each HIP user increased their fresh fruit and vegetable intake by one serving per day, and eating healthier means public health-care costs are lowered. Patients of the Holyoke Health Center can also get monthly, $20 vouchers to purchase fresh, local produce. The concept is to use food as medicine, and the prescription is the farmers market.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Based on current environmental impacts, residents of Petersburg have a life expectancy 10 years lower than the national average, according to U.S. News & World Report. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan extending a natural-gas pipeline in Virginia. The Virginia Reliability Plan and Transcot's …


Social Issues

play sound

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when millions of Americans are expected to make charitable donations. But it can also be a field day for scammers…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Starting Friday, North Carolinians will have greater access to health care as the long-awaited Medicaid expansion is launched. Medicaid will …


Democrats' trust in the media has fallen 12 points over the past year, to 58%, and compares with 11% among Republicans and 29% among independents, according to Gallup. (Christian Schwier/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new project in Southern Arizona aims to support local reporting and enable greater access to local news and information. Earlier this month…

Social Issues

play sound

As the weather turns colder, two groups of people in one North Dakota city that are generations apart appear to be in good shape to navigate housing …

Social Issues

play sound

Illinois high school seniors have new hurdles to overcome to get to college. High school students are waiting several extra weeks to get their hands …

Environment

play sound

Clean-energy companies and supporters are calling on federal officials to prioritize the development of charging infrastructure for EV powered medium …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021