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City of Cleveland to distribute free produce vouchers for the needy this weekend at the Westside Market....By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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Friday, April 19, 2024 — Cleveland, Ohio — Food Access Raises Everyone (FARE) is bringing Produce Perks back to West Side Market this weekend, Sat., April 20 and Sun., April 21, in partnership with the City of Cleveland and Produce Perks Midwest.

The program is designed to increase access to fresh food for Cleveland residents and support vendors at the West Side Market.

Due to the success of the Produce Perks Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coupon program at the West Side Market, which launched in April 2022, the state of Ohio has doubled the funding available for the program for the next two years, city officials said in a statement . The funding will help  provide over 1,000 families with access to healthy, affordable food at West Side Market.

For the past two years, West Side Market had the highest redemption rate in the state for Produce Perks coupons.

Produce Perks provide TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) via $140 in free fruit and vegetable coupons to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the West Side Market before June 30, 2024. Families  can receive the booklets twice a year.

FARE will be on-site at the West Side Market Sat., April 20 starting at 8 a.m. and Sunday, April 21 starting at 10 a.m. to assess eligibility and distribute coupon booklets while supplies last. The first 120 eligible families will receive coupon booklets each day. Coupons will be redeemable until June, 30, 2024 only at West Side Market.

Chef Peggi Cruz from Cha'Firo and Chef Carol White Shyne Bright will provide healthy cooking demonstrations, samples and music while families wait to check their eligibility.

All fresh produce vendors at the West Side Market are slated to participate in the program.

The Produce Perks Pilot is supported through a state allocation of TANF funding, a federal program administered through the State of Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services. TANF has established eligibility requirements that include that eligible households have a minors or pregnant woman in the house and meet income requirements based on federal poverty guidelines.

For more information about the Produce Perks event at the West Side Market, please call 216.400.9609 or visit Fruit & Vegetable Coupon Program - Produce Perks Midwest.

FARE | Food Access Raises Everyone is a comprehensive community initiative that supports emergent resident leaders and grassroots organizations working on food access and other determinants of health, building capacity and coordination to improve health in Cleveland's neighborhoods.

Produce Perks Midwest is an Ohio nonprofit that pioneers solutions to address inequities within the food system. Its mission is to increase affordable access to healthy food, support local farmers and strengthen local economies in the most under-served communities.

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