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Published: Friday, 7/20/2012

Bridging the food gap

Here's a partnership with great potential: Toledo Farmers' Market and Lucas County Jobs and Family Services.

The farmers' market, which dates to 1832 and is four years older than the city itself, is best known for its downtown operations next to Erie Street Market, where vendors hawk their products most Saturday mornings. The market also sells food on summer Wednesday afternoons in the Westgate area of West Toledo.

Last week, in the first of three test runs, market vendors sold locally grown food at the family-services agency headquarters at 3210 Monroe St. The pilot program could bridge an accessibility gap, especially for Toledoans with limited means of transportation.

More people who struggle to make ends meet now have a chance to reap the health benefits of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables in their diets. And area farmers may have found a new outlet to help boost their sales.

As at Erie Street, the county agency site takes cash, credit, and food stamps. Test runs are planned on Aug. 8 and Sept. 12. A long-term arrangement would benefit Toledoans in need, as well as farmers.

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