Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) and the Livingston Food Resource Center (LFRC) are teaming up to get more local fresh food from the farmers market to eligible seniors. WSE administers the Senior Farmers Market Nutritional Program (SFMNP) at the Livingston Farmers Market by providing $50 vouchers to eligible low-income seniors to buy Montana grown fruit, vegetables, herbs and honey at the Farmers Market. WSE has designated 4:30-5:30 as a special shopping time for at risk patrons or for those who want to avoid groups of people. For those who would like to support market vendors but can’t or prefer not to make it to the market, LFRC has created a group of volunteer proxy shoppers to do the shopping for them.
“Last year we served 47 seniors and this year, thanks to additional funding, we plan to serve 100.” Said Farmers Market Manager, Shannan Mascari. “We’re grateful that the LFRC is willing to help us reach those seniors who typically cannot make it to the market. This is a ‘use it or lose it’ program, we need seniors to sign up and use the vouchers to keep this level of funding in the future.”
In addition to the designated shopping hour for those at high risk of Covid-19, WSE has put in place many other safety protocols under the guidance of the Park County Health Department. Vendors are asked to wear masks if busy or not able to keep 6ft between themselves & customers, to provide hand sanitizer at their booths, and have signage reminding people to social distance. WSE has set out two hand washing stations, provided by the City of Livingston. The Rotary Club graciously donated 5 automatic hand sanitizer dispensers which are placed around the market.
“If all those safety protocols don’t seem like enough to bring you out shopping,” said Mascari, “Woods Rose Market has a great CSA option with local produce at www.woodsrosemarket.com.”
“For the market to continue, it is important for everyone who comes to the market to respect the safety protocols designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.” Mascari stated. “We need to adhere to social distancing at the market or we will get shut down. Only together can we keep the market going.”
The Livingston Farmers Market is a program of Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE), and operates every Wednesday June 10th through September 16th. Besides being an important community event offering fresh farm and ranch products, music, locally brewed beer, prepared food vendors, arts and crafts, and more, the Market generates nearly $250,000 for the local economy each year.
To learn more about the SFMNP or to sign up, contact Shannan Mascari at (406) 222-0730 ext. 1. To sign up for a proxy shopper, contact the Livingston Food Resource Center at (406) 222-5335
About Western Sustainability Exchange
Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) is a Montana-based nonprofit specializing in regenerative agriculture and rural economic development. WSE offers technical assistance and workshops on a variety of regenerative agriculture topics, a sustainability assessment and companion certification program for farms and ranches, and connects certified operations to culinary and natural foods outlets and now the emerging market for carbon and ecosystem services . WSE works throughout Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. For more information on this project visit www.westernsustainabilityexchange.org
About the Livingston Food Resource Center
The Livingston Food Resource Center began as the Livingston Food Pantry in 2006. From its roots on North M Street, we have come a long way! In January of 2015, we moved into our current location, added a licensed commercial kitchen along with a community meeting space all while becoming the Livingston Food Resource Center. Our new centrally located space has allowed us to expand our programming to better serve the community and LFRC’s mission.