Pittsburgh Just Harvest is one of the winners in a poster contest run by the Farmers Market Coalition, a nonprofit "dedicated to strengthening farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities."
Its poster-contest winners were announced this past Sunday in Washington, D.C., as the group kicked off National Farmers Market Week. Judges had 164 posters to consider.
The Hudson Farmers Market in Hudson, Ohio, took overall first place and $1,000.
Just Harvest won $1,000 for Best EBT / Incentive Program Poster for one that promotes its Fresh Access program allowing people to use their federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits as well as credit and debit cards at nine local markets (the Saturday Bloomfield and Lawrenceville markets are to be added yet this summer).
Spending via Fresh Access, which Just Harvest launched in May 2013, also is growing, Just Harvest reports: Last market season, total sales topped $42,000, and this season spending is on pace to quadruple that. This not only helps farmers, but also local residents who do not have many options for fresh food. By helping both groups and contributing to healthy, vibrant communities, said Just Harvest's Fresh Access coordinator Emily Schmidlapp, "It's a win-win-win."
Noted the FMC, "Incentivizing SNAP spending at farmers markets is one way that many communities are beginning to address the inequities in the nation’s food system, which make it especially challenging for low-income Americans to maintain a healthy diet."
FMC has posted all the entries on its Facebook page. Throughout August, you can donate $30 or more to FMC and get a calendar featuring 13 of the posters.
The poster was designed by Doug Dean, art director of Wall-to-Wall Studios.
Following the contest rules, Just Harvest gave its winnings to the Citiparks farmers market manager, but Citiparks is giving it back to Just Harvest.
We're pretty sure they'll cook up something good with it.