2021 POP and Market Bucks Programs Encourage Healthy Communities

As we head in to our winter months, we see an end to fun summer activities. Including stopping by your local farmers market for fresh produce.

Throughout the summer months, Windom Area Health and the University of Minnesota Extension supported two local farmers markets with our Power of Produce (POP) and Market Bucks Programs. Both Mountain Lake and Windom Farmers Markets had vendors accepting tokens and bucks. The POP Tokens and Market Bucks are two-dollar tokens that act as a form of real payment on fresh and canned produce items. The tokens and bucks are 100% reimbursed to the market vendors with grant funding secured by Windom Area Health.

The goal of the POP and Market Bucks Programs is to encourage children and adults of all ages to utilize their local markets while promoting healthy food consumption. In addition, the POP and Market Bucks program’s goal was to address the growing number of individuals and families experiencing food insecurity throughout Cottonwood County.

Throughout the months of May, June, July, August, September, and October tokens and bucks distributed at community events and select farmers market dates. In total, 110 tokens reached the hands of children, 115 bucks were given to adults, and 300 bucks were given to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants throughout Cottonwood County.

Currently, the POP and Market Bucks Program for the 2021 season has seen 38% of the tokens returned and 45% of bucks returned with more trickling in. Overall, an increase in healthy food consumptions, as well as, an increase in traffic to our local farmers markets is a win to create healthy communities.

In the future, WAH hopes to continue to collaborate with local farmers markets to increase access to healthy foods and continue to provide an incentive program to purchase healthy foods.

We would like to extend a big ‘thank you’ to those partnering with us on this program including the Mountain Lake and Windom Farmers Market vendors, University of Minnesota Extension, and Des Moines Valley Health & Human Services.

By Anna Snyder, Community Health & Wellness Manager

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