Why accept food stamps at the Lincolnville Farmers’ Market? | Events

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Why accept food stamps at the Lincolnville Farmers’ Market?
Events, Families


The quick answer is that we are in a health crisis.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one in nine adults has diabetes and if current trends continue, one in three will be diabetic by the year 2050.  But there is some good news.  People are waking up to the fact that local produce is better for their health.  In fact, the USDA reports that sales of local foods through farmers’ markets, grocers and restaurants amounted to $4.8 billion in 2008 and is expected to grow to $7 billion in sales for 2011.

But not everyone can take advantage of this trend.  According to a recent federal report, the prime sources of calories for American children these days are cookies, cakes, pizza and sweetened drinks.  The same report says that potato chips and French fries make up half of all vegetables kids eat.  These kids are our future, yet the American Medical Association predicts that 3 out of 5 babies born in the US since 2000 will develop Diabetes II some time in their lifetime.  Already, one in three kids is overweight or obese, putting them at far greater risk to develop diabetes and heart disease the “lifestyle” diseases that we spend 70% of our healthcare dollars to treat!  You and I may eat our veggies, but out-of-control healthcare costs affect the pocketbooks of every one of us.

Children most at risk are kids of families dependent on food stamps.  Today, almost 46 million people in the US depend on them, roughly 15% of the population.  Since the recession started in 2007, food stamp use is up 74%, disproportionately, children.  In fact, the wire service AFP reports nearly half of all American kids will eat meals at some point during their childhood paid for by food stamps.

The Lincolnville Farmers’ Market started by Lift Up Lincolnville, this past October, has set a goal to accept food stamps or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program) in 2012. This is a costly proposition for a non-profit because a dedicated EBT machine and employee are needed in order to process transactions.

To raise funds, Lift Up Lincolnville will be throwing a Mardi Gras party, Saturday, February 4th at the Galimore  Center, 399 Riberia, at 7pm . To help, Mayor Joe Boles and Mrs. Barbara Vickers have graciously agreed to be our Mardi Gras King and Queen.  There will be dancing to live Zydeco, masks, beads, an exciting live auction, drinks, gumbo, decadent desserts, plus genuine King Cakes direct from The Big Easy.  Tickets are $100, but we trust those of us who have more will be willing to help those with less.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP with your check payable to LULRC (Lift Up Lincolnville Revitalization Corp.) and mail it to Sister Diane Couture, at 2745 Industry Center Rd., Suite 6, St. Augustine FL 32084.  If you can’t attend, but would like to contribute, please send a check in any amount comfortable.  If you have questions, or would like to donate an item or service to the party, please contact Sue Agresta, sagresta@comcast.net.  We thank our current contributors, including Mile Marker Brewing; Old City Life Magazine; The St. Augustine Record; The Floridian; City Walks Tours; artists Rosamond Parrish, The Amiro Gallery, Joan Harris and Susan Carr; and the Limelight Theater.                                                                                                                     Contact: Sue Agresta, sagresta@comcast.net, 904-217-0624

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