BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- This time of year marks the start of farmer's market season and the non profit group, Food AND Medicine celebrates the opening of its third Farmers' Market on Ohio Street in Bangor on Wednesday. But that isn't the only thing the group's excited about...
Over the past three years, Food AND Medicine has been working to bring nutritious food to those in the Bangor area who don't think they can afford it. Now those who had doubts have a whole different perspective.
Food insecurity is often one of the most common problems faced by low income families. This doesn't necessarily mean they don't have enough to eat, but that they don't have enough nutritious and healthy foods in their diet. That's where Food AND Medicine came up with a solution.
This year at the Bangor, Ohio Street, and Brewer farmers markets, families receiving SNAP Benefits are offered a 25 percent discount on all purchases. This Farmer's Market Program allows families facing food insecurity an inexpensive way to get the nutritious food they need but don't often get. This discount doesn't cut the farmers short either- Food AND Medicine has raised 30 thousand dollars to match the losses of each farmer. Members of Food AND Medicine believe the program has helped families live a healthier lifestyle.
"To see the excitement on these people's faces, and the pride that they have being able to feed their children organic food. And the farmers! They're all so on board. They love the program. It's a great program all around," said Food AND Medicine Board member Jenna Dumoulin.
Food AND Medicine also provides cooking lessons for people who want to eat better but aren't sure what to make with the healthy food. Children under 18 can also earn tokens that let them try new foods at the markets.