June 25, 2019 – White River Junction, Vt. – All kids ages 5-12 are welcome to participate this summer in Power of Produce (POP) Clubs—a fun, free way to learn about and enjoy fresh local food every week at 13 Upper Valley famers’ markets! In 2018, over 1,300 kids participated in Upper Valley POP Clubs and spent $6,400 in free “POP Bucks” at farm vendor booths.
Power of Produce (POP) Clubs are simple, fun, and free. Families sign up at the market’s POP table and start the day’s fun activity—a farmers’ market scavenger hunt, a vegetable quiz, an art project or other produce-related fun. Kids get to explore the market, talk with farmers, learn, taste new vegetables and fruit, and share their knowledge. The POP host is there to help. Once they complete the activity, participants return to the POP table to receive their $3 in POP Bucks: market money just for kids to spend on fruits and vegetables. There is no need to sign up in advance, and families are welcome to participate once or many times throughout the summer at one market or many. In 2018, over 1,500 kids joined POP Clubs in the Upper Valley.
Vital Communities is supporting POP Clubs at 13 Upper Valley farmers’ markets this year from June 24 through August 18:
· Ascutney Farmers Market, Ascutney, VT, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
· Canaan Farmers and Artisans’ Market, Canaan, NH, Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
· Chelsea Farmers’ Market, Chelsea, VT, Fridays, 3-6 p.m.
· Claremont Farmers’ Market, Claremont, NH, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
· Greater Falls Farmers’ Market, Bellows Falls, VT, Fridays, 4-7 p.m.
· Hartland Farmers’ Market, Hartland, VT, Fridays, 4-7 p.m.
· Hanover Farmers’ Market, Hanover, NH, Wednesdays, 3-6 p.m.
· Lebanon Farmers’ Market, Lebanon, NH, Thursdays, 4-7 p.m.
· Newport Farmers’ Market, Newport, NH, Fridays, 3-6 p.m.
· Norwich Farmers’ Market, Norwich, VT, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
· Randolph Farmers’ Market, Randolph, VT, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
· Royalton Farmers’ Market, South Royalton, VT, Thursdays, 3-6 p.m.
· Wilmot Farmers’ Market, Wilmot, NH, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Most of the markets accept SNAP EBT cards. In fact, at many markets, shoppers who use SNAP EBT can double their benefits and receive up to $10 to spend on fruits and vegetables. With POP Clubs, kids and parents using SNAP both get extra market money to spend. Many markets also accept the Vermont Farm to Family Coupons. Details are available at vitalcommunities.org/pop.
Vital Communities is supporting POP Clubs to increase Upper Valley fruit and vegetable income both this year and in the future when POP Club members become adults. Farmers’ markets are an important sales point for Upper Valley produce farms; customers can get to know farm vendors, ask questions about their products and taste and buy the freshest possible foods for their families. Teaching children about local foods helps all of us grow up healthy and take care of our working lands.
Vital Communities cultivates the civic, environmental and economic vitality of the Upper Valley. We bring people together, bridging boundaries and engaging our whole community to create positive change. Valley Food & Farm, a program of Vital Communities, keeps agriculture a daily part of community life. Learn more at vitalcommunities.org.