The Prince George's County Health Department (PGCHD) supports efforts to improve the health and wellness of its residents. Promoting Farmers' Market is one of many ways to support healthy eating. By promoting Farmers Markets, the Department hopes to increase the accessibility, availability, and affordability of existing healthy food options, mainly farmers' markets, in targeted communities in Prince George's County.
To accomplish this goal, the Health Department plans on engaging key representatives and stakeholders, such as the Prince George's Healthcare Action Coalition (PGHAC), Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation, and the University of Maryland Extension, to identify the best way to promote and expand healthy food options in Prince George's County by improving the utilization of farmers' markets by community members.
Community surveillance has indicated the need for an assessment to gather both data and primary accounts of barriers to accessing healthy foods, and what can be done to raise resident's awareness and community consciousness about the farmers' markets role in the healthy community food system.
The next step is to assess community needs, determine best fit projects, and provide recommendations for strategic plans for service in improving the use and visibility of farmers' markets in Prince George's County.
Future steps are to reduce barriers to access and to develop and execute an outreach and marketing plan to increase the utilization of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/ Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) at Farmers' Markets in the county.
The Health Department hopes to involve community residents in every step of this process.