By Senator Patty Ritchie
Summer in Central and Northern New York, it’s a time for getting outside, enjoying the warm weather, and of course, visiting our local farmers’ market to take advantage of all the fresh, local flavors of the season.
Throughout Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties, there are dozens of markets that offer everything from direct from the farm fruits and vegetables, to locally produced food and handmade wares.
To help make it easy for people throughout our region to find a market near them, I’ve once again released my annual “Farmers’ Market Guide.”
Available at www.ritchie.nysenate.gov and by calling (315) 782-3418, this guide lists the locations, days of the week and times that markets are open in our region.
As chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, making it easier for consumers to access fresh, local foods is a top priority for me.
That’s why I once again this year successfully advocated for funding of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
This special initiative provides $20 vouchers to low-income seniors that can be used at most farmers’ markets throughout our region.
Once again this year, I was able to expand the program so that 2,700 seniors from our area will qualify.
Income limits for receiving the coupons are:
Household of one: $1,832
Household of two: $2,470
Household of three: $3,108
For more information on how to receive coupons, please contact your local Office for the Aging.
They can be reached at:
Jefferson County: (315) 785-3191
Oswego County: (315) 349-3484
St. Lawrence County: (315) 386-4730
I hope this summer, you will take the time to visit your favorite market, or even check out a new one.
Not only are they a great way to taste fresh fruits and vegetables grown right here in Central and Northern New York, they are also a way to support our hardworking farmers.
For more info on local markets, don’t forget to visit www.ritchie.nysenate.gov to check out my 2016 Farmers’ Market Guide, or call (315) 782-3418 to have a guide mailed to you.