Equitable Access to Local Fresh Food:
Making it a Reality
Every Saturday, from the end of June through the end of October, the Danbury Farmers’ Market Community Collaborative (DFMCC) enables everyone to share in the excitement and benefits of fresh local fruits, vegetables, specialty food items, music and special events.
Better Food For Better Health
Obesity and poor nutrition at all ages, underlying factors in most chronic diseases are strongly associated with the inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables. Those with limited resources tend to purchase less fruits and vegetables. Through direct cash incentives at the market, the DFMCC continues to attack disparities in food purchasing power. Research shows that 79% of the project participants increased their intake of fruits and vegetables.
Striving to provide equitable access to fresh food for all Danbury area residents, and promote health and nutrition, the collaborative of more than 30 community stakeholders, works to both enable those now excluded by limited resources to purchase fresh, local food at the Danbury Farmers’ Market and enhance the market experience for all. Healthy shoppers, healthy vendor profits and a healthy local economy are the goals. At its core, Better Health through Better Food is a community-wide health and nutrition enhancement and engagement campaign, a sustainable agriculture initiative, and an economic development strategy.
DFMCC Nutrition Incentives
For those with limited resources, providing additional cash (purchasing power) is the best incentive to increase buying of local fresh fruits and vegetables. Using a market coin system, DFMCC enables Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly know as Food Stamps) recipients to use their benefits at the market and matches up to $25 per market to buy nutritious food. DFMCC also matches up to $9 per market for Seniors and Women, Infant & Children’s program (WIC) recipients using Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Vouchers (FMNP).
For those not receiving government food assistance, Fruit and Veggie Certificates are available through 2 community health centers and the United Way. The YMCA, through the Coalition for Healthy Kids provides market certificates as part of some of their summer health programs.
The Seniors and Vets program continues, providing $15 in market produce certificates at the market. Seniors are invited to join a dynamic nutrition workshop at the end of which they receive their $15. Vets just need to show their vet ID with the certificates being a show of appreciation for their service.
Collaborative Members 2019
City of Danbury, Department of Health and Human Services
City of Danbury, Office of the Mayor
Coalition for Healthy Kids
Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut
Community Health Center Inc. of Danbury
CT Institute For Communities, Inc. (CIFC Greater Danbury Community Health Center & Early Learning Programs)
Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut
Danbury Grassroots Academy
Danbury Housing Authority
Danbury Housing Partnership
Danbury Public Library
Danbury Public Schools
Danbury Senior Center
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury
Housatonic Area Regional Transit (HARTransit)
Interfaith AIDS Ministry
New Opportunities – providing Danbury Senior Nutrition Services
Regional YMCA of Western CT
Ridgefield Visiting Nurses Association
Samaritan Health Center/Jericho Partnership
Temple B’nai Chaim
The Trust for Public Land
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury
United Way of Western CT
University of Connecticut, SNAP Education Program
University of Connecticut, EFNEP Program
Volunteer Center of Western Connecticut
Western Connecticut Health Network, Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk Hospital
Western Connecticut State University (WCSU)
The Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program, (CIFC)
The Work Place Valor Program- Veterans Program