Happy National Farmers Market Week!

Summer is prime time for fresh fruit and vegetables and nowhere is that more apparent than at your neighborhood farmers market, where you can find something delicious to eat in every color of the rainbow. Find a farmers market near you in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers Markets Directory.

IMG_1509Visiting a farmers market is a great way to make healthy food choices and support local farmers. The number of farmers markets that accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits keeps growing. Some farmers markets even participate in the Double Up program, which doubles the value of SNAP benefits spent, making it a great way to stretch your dollars. If you aren’t sure if you qualify for SNAP benefits, the USDA’s website has information about eligibility and enrollment. You can also take a look at NCLR’s list of community organizations that can help you with SNAP.

IMG_1632 (1)We are proud of the work of El Centro, our community partner in Kansas City, Kansas, which is promoting the fresh, seasonal foods available at farmers markets to the Latino community. An NCLR Affiliate, El Centro works closely with us on the Comprando Rico y Sano health program and provides tours of farmers markets to share insights on nutrition and help people learn how to eat healthily on a limited budget. These tours are part of the $5 dollar grocery tour challenge in which program participants are asked to purchase the ingredients for a healthy meal for $5 to feed a family of four. Enjoy the beautiful photos from El Centro’s tour of a farmers market!

This blog post is part of Comprando Rico y Sano, a program supported by the Walmart Foundation and General Mills, Inc.

This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending July31

Immigration_reform_Updates_blueWeek Ending July 31

This week in immigration: NCLR responds to Donald Trump’s mass deportation proposal; check out the facts about immigrants and Medicare; and read a blog post featuring citizenship lending circles.

  • NCLR Deputy Vice President, Clarissa Martinez de Castro was interviewed by Univision for their nightly news segment on Donald Trump’s proposal that the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country should be deported:  You can see her response here.
  • This week Medicare — which provides healthcare coverage to America’s seniors — turned 50.  It’s a good opportunity to highlight that immigrants have been contributing to Medicare and helping to sustain the program.  Check out our infographic for more info:
  • This week on the NCLR blog, we featured the work NCLR Affiliate, Mission Asset Fund (MAF).  MAF recently received an NCLR Family Strengthening Award at this year’s NCLR Annual Conference in Kansas City.

MAF has formalized the process of Lending Circles, in which a small number of people agree to lend money to each other at no interest, by having registered participants’ payments reported to the national credit bureaus. This helps people who may not otherwise have had access to get into the mainstream financial system, says Ximena Arias, Financial Services Manager at MAF.

Lending Circles can help those who have specific goals in mind, such as paying the application fee to become a citizen. Watch the video to hear Karla Henriquez who has experienced the process both as a participant and as the Programs Coordinator for MAF.