Want to satisfy your craving for fresh, local produce this summer and stay on budget?
You may consider signing up for Georgia Organics' My Market Club, a rewards program offered at five metro Atlanta farmers markets.
Anyone can join and once you do, you'll get five free tokens, worth $5 in free produce or other locally made foods. Visit again and you'll get more free goodies and chances to win great prizes.
"We're really seeing the community come together around this and really trying to encourage people to shop at their market," said Danielle Moore, Georgia Organics' Market campaign coordinator.
Every Wednesday, Naomi Cannon stocks up at the Decatur Farmers Market.
"It's long lasting, it tastes better, it's healthier for you and it's worth every penny," she said.
The mom of four is on the SNAP program so she gets an extra bonus: Area farmers markets are now doubling SNAP BENEFITS.
"It's so fantastic for people that are usually getting blasted for taking government assistance to be able to be recognized as wanting to feed our children healthy food," Cannon said.
According to Georgia Organics' research, $60 of $100 spent at farmers markets stay in our community, versus only $25 spent at a grocery store.
And because it's locally grown, the food you buy at the markets is as fresh as it gets.
"It's coming straight from the ground to your plate, and that is a lot healthier for you," Moore said. "You're also supporting local farmers, people in your area who are working really hard to grow your food."
Plus, if you time it right and buy in-season, you can save money.
But for farmers markets to thrive where they're needed most, shoppers have to keep coming back for more.
"Once we show them that if they grow it, we will come, we can start expanding and we can start opening more and more access for people who otherwise wouldn't get fruits and vegetables," Moore said.
Click here for a list of local markets participating in My Market Club.
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.