ALEXANDRIA, La. (CLEDA) – A sponsorship from Healthy Blue Louisiana is funding two popular programs at the Alexandria Farmers Market in 2021. The $9,000 sponsorship means more Central Louisiana residents will have access to fresh, healthy food, and it will bring additional sales to local market vendors.

The sponsorship funds the Kids Club and SNAP Match programs at the market located at 2727 Jackson St., Alexandria. The market is operated by the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.

“Healthy Blue Louisiana has sponsored the Alexandria Farmers Market since 2016. Their generous support helps low-income families who are struggling to put healthy food on their plates,” said Jim Clinton, CLEDA’s President and CEO. “The sponsorship is also good for entrepreneurs. Increasing visitors to the market supports local farmers and producers by creating opportunities for them to sell their fruits, vegetables and other homegrown items.”

Under the Kids Club Program, children are given $5 tokens to buy fresh produce when they visit the market. The program encourages children to sample and consume locally grown fruits and vegetables, teaches them about shopping and budgeting, and provides families with more money to spend.

The Healthy Blue Louisiana sponsorship also funds the SNAP Match program, in which Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits are matched dollar for dollar. This means SNAP recipients can double their money on market visits.

“We’ve seen a lot more SNAP usage during the second half of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Laura and Delta. So the support from Healthy Blue Louisiana helps us meet the needs of the community, which are changing in these times,” said Audrey Kolde, the Alexandria Farmers Market Manager. “It’s important to have the stability of these programs to make sure all families have access to fresh, healthy food.”

The Alexandria Farmers Market, located at 2727 Jackson St., operates from 3-6 p.m. every Tuesday.

“We know food insecurity is directly linked to the whole health of individuals, families and communities and that’s why we’ve supported the Alexandria Farmers Market for the past 5 years to fight hunger and improve the health of our community,” said Dexter Trivett, Healthy Blue Chief Operating Officer. “Healthy Blue continues to engage alongside organizations and other partners as a leading champion for direct community action and food relief initiatives.”

For more information, contact Kolde at 318-441-3407 or visit the market’s Facebook page at facebook.com/alexandriafarmersmarket.

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