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Program encourages exercise by offering produce discounts at local farmers markets

A local nonprofit is expanding a program at farmers markets that help you save money on produce while working towards a healthier and more active lifestyle.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Farmers markets offer the best of both worlds—the community can support local businesses and get their hands on the freshest produce.

Luckily, East Tennessee is full of these markets

A local nonprofit is expanding a program at farmers markets that help you save money on produce while working towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. 

"We are really trying to encourage that extra movement and also being environmentally conscience," Nourish Moves Program Coordinator Mickayla Juroff said.

The Nourish Moves program works by giving pedometers to those attending the Market Square Farmers Market. 

You can pick up a pedometer, after signing a waiver, from the Information Booth. Once you receive the pedometer, do your thing! Walk around, shop and enjoy the environment. 

When you finish up, return the pedometer and you'll receive $3 in "Produce Bucks" per visit to be spent on fresh fruit, vegetables or any food-producing plants at the market. 

If you walk or bike to the market, you'll receive an extra dollar in "Produce Bucks." 

"We've also adapted the program for people who use mobility devices," Juroff said. "So, come on down even if you feel like you're a person who doesn't get their steps in. We want you to participate."

The program also has a reward feature for frequent walkers. When walkers check in a certain number of times or log a certain amount of steps, they can earn prizes. 

With increasing grocery store prices, this program helps those who might be struggling financially. 

About 750 people have already participated in this program. 22% of that group uses a food assistance program. However, 40% have told the nonprofit behind "Nourish Moves" that it helps them access fresh fruits and vegetables, according to Juroff. 

"We know that there is a sizeable chunk of people, who are not eligible for food stamp benefits, but still need help getting that access to fresh fruits and vegetables," Juroff said. 

This program is also available at the New Harvest Farmers Market. 

 

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