Marshfield (OnFocus) – The perfect place to find fresh food is at your local farmers’ market. From farm to table, fresh produce is one of the healthiest ways to get all your nutrients.
“Freshness is what makes farmers’ markets attractive,” said Aspirus Registered Dietitian Andrea Wagner. “Most of the food there has not only been picked at the peak of its freshness and flavor but also within 24 hours of being at the market. Do you like peaches from the grocery store? You’re going to love peaches from the farmers’ market.”
Aspirus has launched another year of its Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) program, which helps provide patients with access to fresh produce. Patients are identified by the Aspirus Patient-centered Medical Home Team and Health Resource Team as having a need. Eligible patients are given a “prescription” to redeem at one of many participating farmers’ markets in the Aspirus service area, including: the Wisconsin Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market, the Stevens Point Area Co-op, the Rome Farmers’ Market, and the Adams County Night Market.
“The FVRx program is particularly valuable this year, given the number of people dealing with financial hardships,” Wagner said. “We know that access to local fresh fruits and veggies isn’t something everyone can obtain. We are happy to offer this program in the communities we serve and help put local healthy foods on our patients’ plates.”
Here are some tips for getting the most from your trip to the farmers’ market:
Go early. You may not need to be among the first arrivals for a weekday market, but weekend markets get busy fast. If you arrive too late, the best pickings may be gone.
Bring cash and reusable bags. Transactions will go easier if you have a pocket of small bills. Plus, you need sturdy bags to carry your items home.
Talk to the vendors. The sellers enjoy talking about their fruits, veggies, and jams. Ask for buying and storing tips. They can often give you recipe ideas too.
For more information on the FVRx program or to find out if you qualify, visit aspirus.org/fvrx-program
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