More Wisconsin farmers' markets accepting FoodShare - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

More Wisconsin farmers' markets accepting FoodShare

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Dane County Farmer's Market begins this Saturday. It's a great way to buy seasonal, local, and healthy produce, but it's also benefiting the thousands of low income families in Wisconsin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made it a priority to provide better access to healthy food through farmers’ markets to people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as FoodShare in Wisconsin.

Amber Canto, a poverty and food security specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, says the number of farmers' markets that accept those benefits has increased in recent years. Nearly one-third of the roughly 250 farmers' markets participate.

Canto said FoodShare sales at farmers’ markets in Wisconsin totaled about $215,700 in 2013.

UW-Extension has teamed up with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to provide information to farmers’ markets and communities interested in expanding access to healthy foods through farmers’ markets for FoodShare users.

“Farmers’ markets provide opportunities to teach people about nutrition and encourage healthier habits,” Canto said. “Several studies have shown that individuals shopping at farmers’ markets consume more fruits and vegetables.”

For more information and resources to assist with accepting federal food benefits at your local market, click here, or visit UW-Extension's website.

To find out if your local market accepts federal food benefits, such as SNAP, click here.

Canto joined us on 27 News at 5 on Thursday.

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