Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Polansky visits the Utica Farmers' Market and she joins us live in the studio, Rachel what are some of these healthier changes?
More people want to buy fresh and local products - and Farmers' Markets are seizing this opportunity by accepting food stamps. With EBT machines, low-income families can buy fresh produce at participating farmers' markets. And today was the first day of the year for EBT machines at the Utica Farmer's Market
"Fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, and fresh everything here," says Doris Trombetta, food stamps recipient.
Trombetta is a food stamp, or SNAP recipient. She says she looks forward to the farmers market all week - with the EBT payment option, she can buy fresh produce, while interacting with people in the community.
"We can't get out that much, so we come over here every Wednesday. We have our push cards, and here you have you're choice of everything that is good for you," says Trombetta.
"Everybody's walking here so these are community residents that have direct access to this fresh food right in their neighborhood," says Debra Richardson, RCIL/ City of Utica.
Here's how it works. You find a participating farmer's market, you give the EBT representative your snap card. They scan you through and it's as easy as 1,2,3. Five farmer's market tokens and you can shop around the farmers' market all day.
"The more people that understand that they can use their food stamps, there snap card here at the market, people do have a desire for fresh, healthy food. So we're very excited to see the level, actually on a holiday, that we have people coming in and actively using their snap cards," says Richardson.
Another SNAP recipient says its more than the fresh vegetables that bring him to the market each week.
"We food stamp consumers, can have access to fresh, local vegetables, but also we get to know our farmers. You can get the best deals here, and you support local economy, we support each other, and we come together as a community to enjoy food, it's timeless," says Dae Anderson, food stamps recipient.