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DEM Invites the Public to Meet #TeamDEM on Aug. 5 at Goddard Memorial State Park Farmers' Market

PROVIDENCE The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is inviting the public to join DEM at the farmers' market at Goddard Memorial State Park Friday, Aug. 5, 9-11 AM. It's a chance to meet agency staff and learn about DEM's priorities and initiatives. Divisions across the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources bureaus will attend, offering information about programs and services. Established 25 years ago, the Goddard farmer's market is open every Friday 9 AM-1 PM during the summer. Farmers' markets support local farmers and producers by allowing customers to shop the market for fresh and local food, plants, cut flowers, honey, and more.

"We're excited to invite the public to the Goddard farmers' market to meet the people who power DEM's priorities and programs and serve Rhode Islanders daily," said DEM Director Terry Gray. "Shopping at a farmers' market supports local family farms and food-related businesses, shortens food miles, and is a nutritious way to celebrate the summer harvest."

Attendance at farmers' markets has climbed steadily since DEM began measuring it in 2019. That year, 20,459 people attended farmers' markets. In 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic, attendance grew by 18% to 24,244. Between 2020 and 2021, attendance grew again, to 29,634 an over-the-year increase of 22%. This year, over 35 vendors are admitted to the Goddard market, spanning family farms offering fresh produce to orchards to providers of prepared local foods. Thanks to DEM's partnership with Farm Fresh Rhode Island, state farmers' markets accept to EBT and Fresh Bucks. Most vendors accept farmers' market checks from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) administered by the Rhode Island Department of Health (to purchase fruits and vegetables). Purchases through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be available at the Goddard Park farmers' market.

DEM also is reminding the public that August 7-13 is National Farmers' Market Week. Farmers' markets are critical in supporting healthy food access and resilient local food systems, today and in the long term. DEM continues to work across many fronts to benefit and strengthen Rhode Island's green economy and to assist local farmers and fishers in growing their businesses. There are hundreds of farms sprinkled across the state and Rhode Island is home to a thriving young farmer network. DEM continues to make investments in critical infrastructure as well as provide farm incubation space to new farmers through its Urban Edge Farm and Snake Den Farm properties.

The state's food scene is often cited as an area of economic strength ripe for innovation and growth. Already, the local food industry supports 60,000 jobs, and the state's green industries account for more than 15,000 jobs and contribute $2.5 billion to the economy annually.

For a list of farmers' markets operating throughout the state; visit the Rhody Grown website.

For more information on DEM programs and services, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@RhodeIsland.DEM).

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online: http://www.dem.ri.gov/
  • Release date: 08-04-2022

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