'Christmas in July' provides fresh produce for low-income families

SEATTLE - Fresh food for almost free - that's the concept behind an expanded Seattle program getting more people involved in farmer's markets - from the field to the table.

Suchitra Rao says it feels like Christmas in July to have freshly harvested produce at her fingertips.

"Its like a bonus. Like having Christmas in the summer," she says.

Welcome to the garden that stocks the High Point farm stand in West Seattle.

It's part of Seattle's 18-year-old P-Patch market program - which aims to grow and provide produce for low-income neighborhoods.

Garden organizer Julie Bryan says the spread of vegetables is as diverse as people who come here to harvest fresh produce.

"Potatoes on the right. Over here we have the tot choy, bok choy," she says.

Bryan it's really important in this neighborhood, too, because the area is pretty much a food desert. The closest store is three miles away.

Both the High Point and New Holly farm stands opened this week.

Here's how it works:

When shoppers spend at least $10 at a farmer's market using their "food assistance" card, shoppers will get $10 in "fresh bucks" that can be used to buy fruits and vegetables at 17 participating markets.

But Bryan says it's not just about saving some some green - it's the chance to be involved with your meal from farm to table, a chance to help the community at large.

Both the High Point and New Holly farm stands are open through October.
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