Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.
Celebrate National Farmers Market Week
Summer is in full swing and so is National Farmers Market Week! Across the country communities are reaping nature’s bounty—growing, selling, buying and eating fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak. In many places, like Hernando, Miss., these markets are not just seasonal fare, but part of a strategic effort to improve community health by making nutritious food more accessible to residents.
Studies consistently show that diets rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease, stroke, obesity, some types of cancer and control blood pressure. Farmers markets provide people with fresh, affordable produce options—so the more there are in a community, the healthier that community is likely to eat. Access to healthy foods is an important component of the County Health Rankings. (Learn more about how the built environment affects health.)
In fact, in Desoto County, Miss., the Hernando Farmers Market is so important to the community that U.S. Representative Alan Nunnelee rang a 100-year-old bell to signal its opening on June 16. As the state’s number one farmers market, it—along with improved sidewalks and bike lanes, new parks and employee wellness programs initiated by Mayor Chip Johnson of Hernando—helps make Desoto one of the healthiest counties in the Mississippi.
(Photo courtesy of Robert Lee Long at the Desoto Times Tribune)