Summer is in full swing and what better way to celebrate the season than to incorporate locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables into everyday meals?
Somerset County offers many opportunities for residents to be able to do so by shopping at the numerous farmers markets available throughout the county.
It is well known that a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables is an important component in the effort to help reduce obesity and prevent chronic disease. Yet, limited access to healthy foods can be a barrier hampering people from including them in their diet. With obesity and chronic disease being two of the priority areas in Somerset County’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), Healthier Somerset is helping to connect residents with access to healthy foods — and farmers markets are a great start.
As the result of the partnership between Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset (RWJUH) and Zufall Health, seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers Mmrkets are becoming more accessible. Through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, known as SNAP-Ed, participants are eligible to receive a voucher towards farmers market purchases by attending educational seminars on nutrition offered by Zufall Health.
Additionally, two new farmers markets recently launched as part of the “Building Bridges to Better Health” initiative to improve health in Bound Brook and South Bound Brook — further expanding access to fresh local produce at the height of New Jersey’s growing season:
The Bound Brook farmers market opened on Saturday, June 22 and runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon through Oct. 5. It is held in the NJ Transit train station parking lot on East Main Street. The market includes fresh produce, desserts, and more from Malanga Farms out of Warren.
The South Bound Brook Farmers Market opened on Sunday, June 30 and runs every Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon through Sept. 29. It is held in the Krauszer’s parking lot at 50 Main St. The market features fresh produce from Asprocolas Acres, a Millstone Township-based farm.
Healthier Somerset is a community coalition convened by RWJUH Somerset. It is comprised of over 50 members who are committed to working collaboratively by sharing information, creating alliances and increasing efforts to make Somerset County a healthy place to live and work. For more information, visit www.healthiersomerset.org.