Friday, September 18, 2009

From Farm to First Table

From Farm to First Table
Posted by Molly Fedick
As part of her initiative to create a healthier America and her dedication to supporting the local community here in DC, the First Lady made sure to stop by opening day of the Freshfarm Market, located just steps from the Obama residence -- and the workplaces of thousands of DC employees, including more than 1,700 White House staffers.

(First Lady Michelle Obama helps open the Farmer's Market on H Street near the White House in
Washington, DC Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009. Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

The farmer's market will be open for business (and free sample consumption) Thursdays until October 29. After picking up some chocolate milk, fingerling potatoes, and pears, the First Lady gave a few remarks in honor of the new addition to the neighborhood:
Farmers' markets are a simple but major ingredient in solving access issues in many communities. And for those who think that fresh fruits and vegetables are out of their reach financially, as the Secretary mentioned, and I want to reinforce the fact that this market and other farmers' markets around the city participate in the WIC program, the SNAP program, the Double Dollar program, and the Seniors benefits program. And each SNAP and WIC dollar equals two dollars at a farmers' market to purchase fresh produce. (Applause.) So that's something -- and we want to get that word out as well.

So if you know people who have access to these benefits, they should understand that these farmers' markets are there for them as well. And there is an incentive for them to use and buy their fruits and vegetables here. So we want to get that word out.

And farmers' markets do more than just help Americans feed their families healthy meals. They help America's family farmers, as you've met some of our great farmers here, and you'll get to know them. That's the good thing about farmers' markets. You get to know the people who grow your food, how they do it, you know, who they are as people. That makes a huge difference. These farmers provide a critically important role in feeding this nation. Small and mid-size farmers grow the fruits and vegetables that we find on our supermarket shelves as well and at farmers' markets, and they are an important part of creating a healthier environment, healthier communities, and healthier families, and we have to support them.

And I want to thank all of the farmers and all the purveyors who have come out today to make this market such a wonderful, wonderful resource for this community. Events like this one are more than just about the opportunity to provide good food. It's also about creating better communities.

We know that when we start coming out to these markets, we're going to start talking to each other. We're going to talk about, where'd you get those peaches, and which stand, and let me try them, and what's fresh. We talk to each other in different ways.
So this market is not just about food. It's about our community. And this is just the beginning of the discussion. (Applause.)

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