Farmers’ markets have long served as a way to increase food access in low-income areas and support small farmers and local businesses while bolstering a healthy, locally empowering economy. During this stressful and uncertain time, you may be wondering how you can support your local community, specifically, the farming community. Indiana’s farming and food community need your support now more than ever.
The Indy Winter Farmers Market hosted by Growing Places Indy, a local nonprofit organization, will return for its 14th season this Saturday, November 7, 2020. The winter market will run every Saturday through April 24, 2021, from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Circle City Industrial Complex located on East 10th Street and Brookside Ave. (NW corner of East 10th and Brookside Ave).
Since 2008, the market has provided a venue for Indiana’s sustainably-minded family farms and food producers to sell products throughout the fall and winter, improving the community’s year-round access to fresh, local food. The market will feature more than 60 local farmers, food producers selling fresh, regional, and seasonal items from produce, meat, seafood, honey, and eggs, to handmade soaps, pressed olive oil, and much more.
Due to COVID-19, the market has implemented a few new safety measures to keep everyone safe. The market will be reserved for 65 and over and immune-compromised customers for the first hour, and social distancing will be strictly enforced. Masks will be available for purchase and will be required at all times, and customers will be encouraged to pre-order and come midmorning to avoid crowds and long lines.
Since March, SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) usage has increased to help provide food assistance to struggling families impacted by job loss and rising food costs. Unique to the winter market, they offer the Triple-Match SNAP Program, which turns $20 into $60. That means when a person comes to the winter market and swipes their SNAP card for $20, they receive an additional $20 of market tokens and $20 of Fresh Bucks checks. The first $20 can be spent on any SNAP-eligible item, and $20 of Fresh Bucks can be spent on produce. The program’s goal is to increase the spending power of shoppers using SNAP benefits during the market season and truly to make it a space for everyone.