Allison Bolcik via Crowdrise
October 18, 2014
BENEFITING: CROSSROADS COMMUNITY FOOD NETWORK INC
EVENT DATE: Oct 18, 2014
There are many reasons to love and support the Crossroads Farmers Market, but this is the story of mine: I first discovered the Crossroads Farmers Market four years ago while working in the Langley/Takoma Park WIC office. It was my first week there, and at that time, the market was directly in front of my buiIding. There was kale, lots of apples, and plenty of my personal Fall favorite: butternut squash, so I decided I definitely would check it out.
I was hired by WIC in October, so it wasn't the peak of the season, but it was still busy when I got down to the market right after work. I was heading for the butternuts when I saw the little boy who I had just finished my last appointment with. He was there shopping with his mother, so I said hi to him and to his mom, and talked with her about shopping with her WIC checks which I had just issued. What happened next surprised me though. When the mother used her $6 check for fruits and vegetables that the WIC program provided, the farmer then gave her a receipt that was good for her to use to redeem $5 in "Fresh Checks". I knew that some Farmers markets accepted WIC fruit and vegetable checks, but I didn't yet know what "Fresh Checks" were. It was then that I found out that this Farmers Market, The Crossroads Farmers Market not only accepted WIC checks, SNAP/Food Stamps, and Seniors Farmers Market Nutriton Program checks, but that through donations and private funding, Crossroads Farmers Market actually incentivized the purchase of fruits and vegetables with these payment methods, by giving the shoppers bonus dollars called "Fresh Checks".
So in other words, because my WIC mom was using her $6 WIC fruit and vegetable check at Crossroads, she would now have $5 more to spend on fruits and vegetables, making the total for her son $11 per month instead of just $6.
(And yes, you are reading this correctly. Until June of 2014, a child age 1-5 recieved $6 per month for fresh fruits and vegetables from WIC, Currently children 1-5 recieve $8 per month, and a pregnant or breastfeeding mom recieves $10).
This year, the location of the Crossroads Farmers Market changed, and it has been the busiest market season yet. There have been more seniors shopping at Crossroads than in previous years, and also many more shoppers using their SNAP. With the extra bussiness however, the funds used to provide Fresh Checks are going much faster than anticipated. But you can help the Crossroads Farmers Market continue to provide Fresh Checks!
This year I am finally running my first full marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival on October 18th. After receiving an email saying that Crossroads needs to raise $15,000 to fund Fresh Checks for the rest of the 2014 market season, I have decided that I am running this race to raise money for the Crossroads Farmers Market Fresh Checks program.
Any amount helps. I am making the first donation now of $100. My goal is to raise $5,000.To learn more about Crossroads Farmers Market, click here: http://www.crossroadscommunityfoodnetwork.org/crossroads-farmers-market/
Thank you so much for your support!!!