ONTARIO — Learning about nutrition can be quite a task, so dashing into action is Food Hero.
Food Hero is an award-winning social marketing campaign from Oregon State University that educates residents in communities about healthy eating and nutrition. But this is just one piece of the overall SNAP-Ed program. The aim of the program is to bring state, federal and local resources together in order to better educate individuals and families about maintaining good health through proper nutrition.
Around the first or second week of August, WIC recipients can browse the offerings of local farmers and produce vendors at the annual farmer’s market offered at the Malheur County Health Department office. This farmer’s market is an event that is highly anticipated in the community according to Hallie Hopkins, WIC supervisor and registered dietician. She went on to say how in the past people have been lined up outside starting at 7:30 in the morning and the market opens at 9.
Hopkins explained how this event is a great benefit to the community is a help to those on the WIC program as the state of Oregon offers an extra $28 voucher booklet for the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables. This is a once a year event and Hopkins stated that there were approximately 556 of these booklets to hand out. The WIC farmer’s market also accepts payment via the Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Program, an initiative to assist low-income seniors.
Two local companies set up tables at the festivities and brought a plethora of fruit and vegetables with them — Davis Produce and R. Beaver’s Nursery. Hopkins wanted to remind anyone interested in the produce being offered that the WIC farmer’s market is open to the public, not just those affiliated with the WIC or SNAP programs. She also said that if someone feels they are in need of assistance to contact Malheur County Health Department to see if they qualify, “Always give us a call.”