VIRGINIA (WAVY) — Governor Glenn Youngkin has proclaimed Aug. 6 through Aug. 12 as Farmers Market Week in Virginia.

The proclamation is meant to recognize the nearly 250 farmers markets that provide fresh food to communities across the state.

Officials say August is the prime season for Virginia produce and farmers markets throughout the Commonwealth are filled with locally grown produce and Virginia raised meats.

“The economic impacts of Virginia farmers markets include direct benefits to farmers and affiliated businesses, while also helping to stimulate the local economy by keeping dollars in the community and preserving farmland through economic viability,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “Farmers markets increase access to a healthy food environment with an abundance of locally grown produce that helps support fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, particularly in food deserts across Virginia.”

More than 100 farmers markets in the state accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Additionally, many farmers markets allow customers to redeem vouchers for nutritious produce through WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. 

“Farmers markets play a vital role in helping to meet consumer demand for fresh, locally grown agricultural products and the desire for people to connect with where their food comes from,” said Virginia Farmers Market Association Executive Director Kim Hutchinson.