OKLAHOMA CITY – There’s a new way for Oklahomans to find and support local farmers markets – the Shape Your Future Farmers Market interactive map. Just in time for spring and summer produce, Shape Your Future, a program of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, is working to make the next trip to the market as easy as click and go. Shape Your Future encourages Oklahomans to eat better, move more, drink water and be tobacco free with a variety of free resources and tools available at ShapeYourFutureOK.com.
Whether a person is a first-time visitor or a farmers market pro, Shape Your Future provides tips, videos and more to help people make the most of their farmers market trip. The program also encourages farmers markets to register with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in order to take advantage of marketing opportunities, technical support and liability protections.
“Farmers markets provide an incredible opportunity to buy fresh produce, learn how to prepare it and to support local farmers in our state,” said Julie Bisbee, TSET executive director. “Shape Your Future provides a variety of healthy recipes packed with fruits and veggies and advice to ease the minds of anyone who is less familiar with buying and cooking fresh produce.”
The Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education project promotes healthy living through strategies for communities, families and individuals across the state. Through ONIE, many farmers markets in Oklahoma accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Participants can bring their SNAP card to the farmers market table that says “SNAP Accepted Here,” and get tokens that can be used like cash at the farmers market.
Additionally, Double Up Oklahoma, a statewide healthy food incentive program, doubles the value – up to $20 per day – of federal SNAP nutrition benefits at participating farmers markets. This helps people bring home more locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Some tips to consider before visiting a farmers market:
• Arrive early to get the best produce selection.
• Scope it out. Check out all the options before buying.
• Bring bags; not all booths provide them.
• Bring cash; not all booths accept cards.
• Get to know the farmers, learn where the food comes from, and ask about ways to prepare the produce.
• Be spontaneous by trying new foods each visit.
Find more tips, activities for kids, and recipes at ShapeYourFutureOK.com.