Hickory – As local summer crops start ripening once again, Catawba County Public Health’s Farmers Market is returning for a seventh season.

One of the market’s main goals is to offer a convenient way for people to purchase and consume farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. It is open to the public weekly and accepts cash, debit cards, WIC and senior farmers market vouchers.

Farmers market hours are Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and it operates from June 6 through September 26. It is held, weather permitting, in the Public Health parking lot at 3070 11th Ave. Drive SE, Hickory, NC 28602. Conveniently located off Fairgrove Church Road, behind Catawba Valley Medical Center, the market has ample parking and is accessible by Greenway bus routes 3 and 4.

In addition to offering fresh produce, the market offers opportunities for community connections through taste tests courtesy of the Catawba County Cooperative Extension office, and through market tours for child care centers, day camps, and Seniors Morning Out groups. If interested in a tour of the market, please call Tracey Paul at (828) 695-5861.

The market improves individual and community health for everyone by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clients receive Farmers Market Nutritional Program vouchers when available to supplement their WIC food benefits with fresh, local produce during the summer months.

“We are excited to offer such a convenient way for people to increase their consumption of healthy foods, while also increasing redemption of WIC Farmers Market Nutritional Program vouchers,” said Julie Byrd, WIC Director at Catawba County Public Health. “We are excited to continue serving the community in the market’s seventh season and we hope it continues to be a great source of healthy foods for our community.”

Catawba County WIC clients interested in receiving farmers market vouchers this year may call (828) 695-5884 for more information.

WIC is a federal supplemental nutrition program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and children up to age five. The program helps prevent nutrition-related problems in pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. WIC benefits are redeemable at participating food stores and farmer’s markets for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk, juice, eggs, cheese and cereal, among other nutritious items. WIC also provides nutrition and breastfeeding counseling.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. https://www.nutritionnc.com/nondiscrimination.htm

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth.

The Public Health Farmers Market will begin welcoming shoppers and vendors for its seventh annual season beginning June 6.