One of my favorite summer time activities is to peruse the local farmers’ market. There are plenty of locations in Allegheny County, but my favorite has to be the one in Squirrel Hill.
After a quick workout at the JCC this past Sunday morning, I walked over to pick up some produce. I was really hungry for some fresh fruit and veggies, and the market did not disappoint! It is peak season for summer produce in Pennsylvania, and I ending up walking away with tons yummy food (I can definitively say I bought the juiciest + sweetest crate of peaches I have ever had)!
I love going to the farmers’ market for many reasons. Locally grown food is full of flavor and is more nutrient dense than most food bought in grocery stores, since the crops are picked at the peak of ripeness. They do not have to travel far to make their way to your shopping bag, so buying local has less of a negative impact on the environment. Buying from local farmers also supports the local economy,
Another great thing about the farmers’ markets in our area is that most accept SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). Just look out for the Just Harvest red “Fresh Access” tent, where you can swipe your ACCESS electronic benefit transfer (EBT) or debit or credit card and receive tokens to use like cash. Seniors who picked up their farmers’ market coupons in June at participating Allegheny County senior centers can also present their vouchers to redeem produce through the end of the season. The Squirrel Hill farmers’ market also houses a booth for the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry. Shoppers can stop by to learn more about the pantry and donate fresh produce for pantry clients.
Aside from all of the reasons mentioned above, I love shopping at the Squirrel Hill farmers’ market because it fosters a sense of community. I see many familiar faces and often run into regular AgeWell participants. It’s great to see everyone out, enjoying the warm summer weather, and stocking up on delicious, healthy food. I hope to see more familiar faces in the Sundays to come!
*The Squirrel Hill farmers’ market runs through November 24. To learn more about farmers markets in the area: https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-farmers-markets-schedules/7471485
To learn more about the Fresh Access program: https://www.justharvest.org/fresh-access/
To learn more about the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: https://www.alleghenycounty.us/Human-Services/Programs-Services/Basic-Needs/Senior-Farmers-Market-Nutrition-Program.aspx
To learn more about the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry:https://www.jfcspgh.org/services/squirrel-hill-food-pantry/