Free Produce Perks returns to Cleveland's West Side Market, Mayor Bibb announces....Coupon booklet distribution begins at the market starting this week
"We are pleased to bring Produce Perks back to the West Side Market," said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. "The data from last year's pilot shows that this program benefited residents across the city as well as the hardworking produce vendors at our market."
The mayor's announcement comes on the heels of city council approving a multi-million project to renovate the West Side Market, a historical figure on the city's near west side that is located at West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue.
Produce Perks provide TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) eligible families $240 in free fruit and vegetable coupons to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the West Side Market before June 30, 2023.
FARE will be on-site at the West Side Market starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 20 to assess eligibility and distribute coupon booklets while supplies last. Chef Ja'Milla Hatchett-Bey will provide healthy cooking demonstrations and music while families wait to check their eligibility.
Coupons will be redeemable until June 30, 2023, only at the West Side Market.
The Produce Perks program was piloted at West Side Market last year. In 2022, $35,000 worth of Produce Perks coupons were distributed to the 265 families who participated in the program. West Side Market had the best turnout rate in the state with a 95 percent redemption rate. The state average redemption rate was 54 percent in 2022.
Last year, program participants came from every ward in the city with 46 percent of Cleveland program participants from eastside neighborhoods, and 54 percent from west side neighborhoods.
All fresh produce vendors at the West Side Market are participating in the program.
The Produce Perks Pilot will be supported through a state allocation of TANF funding, a federal program administered through the State of Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services. TANF guidelines require eligible households to have minors or pregnant women in the house as well as meet income requirements based on federal poverty guidelines.
The FARE Project is a broad-based, community-wide initiative designed to connect and support community leaders and grassroots organizations engaging in healthy food access work in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The project provides support within and across eight program areas, leading to increased capacity and coordination across sectors, building demand for access to healthy foods and improved health outcomes for our residents and neighborhoods.
Produce Perks Midwest is an Ohio nonprofit that pioneers solutions to address inequities within our food system. Our work increases affordable access to healthy food, supports local farmers and strengthens local economies – in our most under-served communities.
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