TUSCALOOSA, Ala. "“ The Homegrown Alabama Farmers Market will open on Thursday, May 5, with a Cinco de Mayo celebration and will continue every Thursday from 3-6 p.m. through Oct. 27 at the Canterbury Episcopal Chapel lawn on Hackberry Lane between Bryant Drive and University Boulevard.
Homegrown Alabama is a nonprofit, student-led group at The University of Alabama. The program seeks to educate students and community members about the value of local produce, as well as to foster partnerships between local farmers, UA and the greater Tuscaloosa community.
The Cinco de Mayo celebration will feature Mexican food and music, and artisans will be on hand along with the weekly vendors who sell fruits, vegetables, baked goods, beef, cut flowers, coffee and tea, eggs, homemade herbal teas, soap, pralines, canned goods, hot foods and arts and crafts.
Homegrown Alabama recently received approval to accept Electronic Benefit Transfer, the system for distributing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
A machine will be located at the market to transfer EBT-SNAP funds into $1 and $3 tokens with the Homegrown Alabama label. Tokens can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, maple and honey products, and seeds and plants that produce foods.
As part of an incentive program, Homegrown will match every $10 spent using EBT with an additional $5 in tokens, while funds last. The tokens cannot be refunded but will never expire and can be used at any Homegrown Farmers Market throughout the 2011 season or any season thereafter.
In addition to accepting EBT, Homegrown Alabama will continue its participation in the Canterbury Episcopal food pantry program, Deacon's Deli, which distributes vouchers to its patrons to purchase produce at the market. Market vendors and customers will also be encouraged to donate fresh food to Deacon's Deli and Meals on Wheels.
For more information on the EBT incentive program and how to donate, call 205/210-9621, or visit http://homegrownalabama.org/market.html.
Story courtesy of The University of Alabama.