Ensuring Affordable Produce in Fairfax County

Ensuring Affordable Produce in Fairfax County

Farmers Markets receive $50,000 grant.

The $50,000 USDA grant will help the Fairfax County Farmers Markets ensure that produce is affordable for SNAP recipients.

The $50,000 USDA grant will help the Fairfax County Farmers Markets ensure that produce is affordable for SNAP recipients. Photo by Carlyn Kranking/The Connection

Farmers Market Season

How long do the farmers markets remain open?

Annandale open through Nov. 1

Thursdays, 8 a.m. - Noon

6621 Columbia Pike

Burke open through Dec. 22

Saturdays, 8 a.m. - Noon

5671 Roberts Parkway

Government Center open through Oct. 25

Thursdays, 2:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

12000 Government Center Parkway

Herndon open through Nov. 8

Thursdays, 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

700 Block, Lynn St.

Kingstowne open through Oct. 26

Fridays, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

5870 Kingstowne Towne Center

Lorton open through Nov. 18

Sundays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

8990 Lorton Station Boulevard

McCutcheon/Mount Vernon open through Dec. 19

Wednesdays, 8 a.m. - Noon

2501 Sherwood Hall Lane

McLean open through Nov. 16

Fridays, 8 a.m. - Noon

1659 Chain Bridge Road

Oak Marr open through Nov. 14

Wednesdays, 8 a.m. - Noon

3200 Jermantown Road

Reston open through Dec.1 (closed Sept. 22 for Multicultural Festival)

Saturdays, 8 a.m. - Noon

11401 North Shore Drive

Wakefield open through Oct. 31

2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

8100 Braddock Road

With a grant of $50,000 over three years, the Fairfax County Farmers Markets will ensure SNAP (previously called food stamps) recipients can access fresh local produce. The farmers markets received this money because they partner with Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP), which received $1.8 million from the USDA through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI).

This money will make a difference for SNAP recipients in Fairfax County, allowing them better access to the produce at farmers markets.

“Most people on SNAP, because they’re so strapped for cash, they only buy processed foods, because they’re very cheap, and healthy food is expensive,” Farmers Market Coordinator Chelsea Roseberry said. “We’re trying to bridge that gap so that little-income families don’t feel like this is inaccessible to them.”

At participating farmers markets, the value of SNAP dollars is doubled by the Virginia Fresh Match nutrition incentive program – for example, if a person spends $20 in SNAP benefits at a farmers market, they will receive $20 more to spend on fruits and vegetables.

With the grant money, this dollar-matching program will provide up to $100,000 in added revenue to local farms as SNAP recipients purchase their products at markets. In this way, the local economy also benefits from the grant.

“Small farms are dying out,” said Assistant Market Manager Sue Wolinsky. “A lot of the land is being given over to development. So, anything we can do to support family farms is in the plus column.”