Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Celebrating Farmers’ Markets

Monday, August 5, 2013

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program would like to celebrate the role Farmers’ Markets play in creating healthy communities by providing access to healthy, fresh foods. The Rankings measure access to healthy food because research suggests that lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a barrier to healthy eating and is related to premature mortality.

Manistique, a city in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula and winner of the inaugural RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize, was able to increase their community’s access to nutritious food by hosting a Farmers’ Market. In order to operate a successful Farmers’ Market, the city conducted extensive research, and opened its very first Farmers’ Market on August 10, 2010 to a crowd of 300 people.

Since its inception, the market has been popular with the community. It serves thousands of residents, provides locally grown produce to low-income families, accepts WIC coupons, and benefits local farmers. The Manistique Farmers’ Market is also highly acclaimed. In 2011, it placed second in the boutique-sized category of America’s Favorite Farmers’ Market contest, and received a two year grant from the USDA to increase the market’s sustainability.