Oakland County Farmers Markets
Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Health Division and the Healthy Oakland Partnership (HOP) will host their second Family Market Day event of 2014 this Saturday at the Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, in Waterford. Family Market Day promotes farmers markets that accept SNAP/Bridge cards, providing families who receive those benefits access to healthy produce. The event runs from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
“This program assisted farmers markets in accepting EBT cards, which increased access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income residents,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “This helps families eat healthier on a budget, and increases sales for local farmers.”
There will be coupons for $5 worth of free produce for residents who participate in the SNAP/Bridge, WIC, or Senior Project Fresh programs. Those who make a SNAP/Bridge card purchase at one of the Family Market Day events will receive an additional $5 coupon. The Oakland County Market also participates in Double Up Food Bucks where participants can get an additional $20 if they purchase up to $20 on their SNAP/ Bridge card.
Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of the Health Division, said this is a model program. “Healthy Oakland Partnership received a 2014 Achievement Award from The National Association of Counties for their efforts to support initiatives at farmers markets,” Forzley said. “Collaboration among all the partners is the reason we were able to help develop this innovative program.”
This family-friendly event will feature yoga, Zumba, fun activities for children, free recipe samples, and health screenings. Inflatable bouncers will be on-site, so bring socks for the kids. Families can also win prizes.
Last year HOP supported local farmers markets in efforts to apply for SNAP/bridge card acceptance by providing technical assistance and training for market managers. Currently, there are six markets in Oakland County that accept SNAP/Bridge card benefits. They are Auburn Hills Farmers Market, Downtown Rochester Farmers Market, Lathrup Village Farmers Market, Milford Farmers Market, Oakland County Market, and Springfield Farmers Market. HOP is working to increase that number
Healthy Oakland Partnership (HOP)
Oakland County Health Division, under the leadership of County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, launched Healthy Oakland Partnership (HOP) in 2009 as a collaboration of local government, hospitals, health care providers, community based organizations, business, and citizens dedicated to promoting healthy eating and physical activity and improving the health of Oakland County residents.
HOP currently has two teams dedicated to specific initiatives:
- Youth Team - Members will work with interested schools to implement smarter lunchroom strategies, which increase healthy eating by students, and the Fuel Up To Play 60 program.
- Farmers Market Team - Members work with interested Oakland County farmers markets to increase acceptance of food assistance programs, including SNAP and WIC benefits.
For media inquiries only, contact Kathy Forzley, Manager/Health Officer of the Oakland County Health Division, at 248-858-1410.