COLUMBIA – Show your appreciation for local businesses and South Carolina farmers during this year’s National Farmers Market Week.
“By shopping at a farmers market, you are supporting your neighbors – and what better time than during the abundant summer months for South Carolina produce,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that farmers markets are essential businesses, and I’m grateful for the work they do to connect people to farmers and fresh food.”
Farmers markets are an ideal venue for smaller farms to sell food directly to the public, lowering the barrier for people to buy fresh local products. They offer a unique face-to-face experience where consumers can meet the individuals responsible for their food.
American farmers only receive about 14.3 cents of every dollar Americans spend on food, with the rest going to off-farm costs like distribution, marketing and retail. Selling at farmers markets cuts out some of those other costs, allowing farmers to earn more money from what they grow.
Farmers markets also continue to improve food access for under-served communities, helping more people obtain fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2017, $24.4 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were redeemed at farmers markets across the nation, a 35% increase from five years earlier.
National Farmers Market week runs from Aug. 1 through 7, 2021. In addition to the state’s three State Farmers Markets, you can find a market near you through our online list of Community-Based Farmers Markets. The South Carolina Association of Farmers Markets also maintains an online directory of farmers markets.