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Norwalk Health Center Offers Families Produce

NORWALK, Conn. – Eva Beau was "kind of mobbed" last Wednesday – people were looking for cheap, fresh vegetables outside Norwalk Community Health Center .

Beau, community outreach coordinator at the center, may be mobbed again this Wednesday because more people are coming to the center's annual farmer's market each week, she said. It's open from noon to 3 p.m. every Wednesday at 120 Connecticut Ave., and patrons may pay with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) dollars. The program, which runs through October, is supported by The United Way, Fairfield County Community Foundation, the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation, and Wholesome Wave.

Prices are low, said Jenny Najera, who drove across town to get a box of vegetables. She had been to a farmer's market elsewhere and left because she knew she could get the food cheaper at the center, she said.

Patrons don't get to choose their produce, but the box of romaine lettuce, eggplant, zucchini and corn was a steal at $6, said Najera, who took two.

Beau had fresh basil and onions the first week. Last week, the box included red cabbage. Beau expects to add fruit as season goes on, she said.

It's the "third or fourth year" the center has offered fresh fruits and vegetables at a low cost, thanks to the subsidies. "The patients look forward to it," Beau said. "Even before the season started they were asking 'Where are the boxes?'" She's planning something new this week, and will give out recipes to use with the produce in the boxes.

The market is growing. "By the end of the season our goal is 50 to 60 boxes every week," she said. "I think we'll hit that easily."

Are you enjoying fresh produce this summer? Where do you go to get it?

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