Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

June 17, 2013

Jville Farmers Market shopping new site

JACKSONVILLE — As of this weekend, vendors participating in the Jacksonville Farmers Market should know where they will be setting up for the rest of the season, according to Carmen Sosa, market director for the East Texas Communi-ty Food Coalition.

“It was only for this past Tuesday that we sat up (at a location on East Commerce near the Tomato Bowl) – that was a temporary location,” she said. “We hope by Saturday to learn where we'll be.”

The Jacksonville Farmers Market is part of a coalition, which also has partnered with two other farmers markets in Tyler, where the group is based, according to the website www.foodcoalition.org. The coalition, a not-for-profit organization that formed in 2012, aims “to help nourish sustainable communities by creating better access to affordable and nutritious food,” the website states.

Produce offered for sale is grown within 75 miles of market sites.

A partnership with another group of local farmers – organized through the Lone Star Military Farmers – ended after approximately four weeks when participants of the local group, based in Cherokee County, questioned changes in cost after joining the coalition.

According to Lois Hutson, LSMF specialist, local farmers initially agreed upon a low, one-time fee to set up for the season at markets in Jacksonville, Rusk or both.

However, vendors balked after recently learning they would be required to pay what amounted to a per-use fee issued by the coalition.

“We intentionally wanted to keep the overhead low so that we could help our local farmers,” Hutson said in Wednesday interview with the Jacksonville Daily Progress, explaining that the association with the coalition ended shortly thereafter.

“It was not sensible to ask our farmers to do that” when they already agreed to an original fee, Hutson said.

A nutrition voucher program adopted by the coalition was what first attracted Cherokee County farmers to the organization, because this is an economically disadvantaged area and they wanted to help consumers stretch their buying dollars, Hutson added.

Initially described as offered through a different government program, Sosa clarified that the voucher program is actually a cooperative effort among the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Food Coalition Association and the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

The entities “teamed up as part of a pilot program to encourage low-income mothers and their young children to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables,” she said in an email Thursday.

“The Farmers Market Nutrition Program … helps create much better access to fresh, locally grown produce for the recipients of these nutrition benefits.”

Members of the Coalition can opt to accept the vouchers during market days; “We are proud to say that all of our farmers markets have elected to join this nutrition program … in the four weeks since the Jacksonville Farmers Market opened, we have distributed vouchers equavalent to over $4,000 worth of fresh, locally grown produce,” according to Sosa's email. “That goes a long way towards nurturing a healthy community.”

Her email also pointed out that “the Jacksonville Farmers Market (operated by the Coalition) is currently the only farmers market association in East Texas authorized to accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers,” although interested markets can contact John Kyere with the Texas Department of Agriculture for more information how to become part of that program.

The rest of the market season, however, only the farmers who are part of the East Texas Community Food Coalition Association – the group currently waiting to learn where they can permanently set up a site – accept program vouchers.

The Farmers Market at Sadlers – the group of growers who originally established a market at the 101 S. Bonner site as early as last year – does not accept these vouchers, Hutson said, and will be directing participants to the Jacksonville Farmers Market vendors if asked.

In other news, the group at the Sadler's site have added another market day to their calendar.

Beginning this Saturday, the vendors will be at the South Bonner location from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. or when produce runs out.

Regular market day in Rusk is Thursday evenings, outside Barb's Too restaurant, 1007 S. Dickinson.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cuney Council cancels meeting, again

    Tuesday's Cuney City Council meeting – in which local alderman were to vote on canceling a May 10 election due to unopposed status of candidates – was canceled because of a lack of quorum, according to City Secretary Brenda Lankford.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sen. Nichols speaking.tif Senator Nichols speaks to Jacksonville Leadership Institute

    State Senator Robert Nichols (R) spoke to the Jacksonville Leadership Institute Tuesday regarding the role of government in Texas.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jacob.tif Local boy recovering from campfire accident in Dallas hospital

    Jacob Sessions of Jacksonville was burned on 71 percent of his body on April 5 from a campfire accident. He is currently in Parkland ICU due to his injuries, according to a representative for the family.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • THOMPSON, CEDRICK.tif Cherokee County woman found dead

    At approximately 9:35 a.m. Sunday,  Kayla Nicole Thompson, 27, was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201,  just West of Lake Jacksonville.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • BullardFUNRUN.tif Bullard Education Foundation sets record with event

    The Bullard Education Foundation hosted its 4th annual 5K /Fun Run, “Strides for Excellence” on Saturday morning, April 19.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire destroys Sims Avenue residence

    Jacksonville Fire Department responded to a fire in the 900 block of Sims Avenue early Saturday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Community library on council agenda

    The Bullard City Council will met at 6 p.m. today at Bullard First Baptist Church, 1428 S. Houston, for the regular board meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Council to mull election, roads

    The Cuney City Council will meet at 10 a.m. today at the Cuney Municipal Building.

    April 22, 2014

  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014