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—Image courtesy of Denver Human Services

Bright Idea: Denver Human Services’ Fresh Farm Stand

How Denver Human Services and Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms are bringing farm-fresh produce to food deserts.

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When you picture a farmers’ market, you probably conjure up an image of crowded stalls in a city park. You may not think of a city administration building, but that’s where one of Denver’s best farm stands will be this summer.

For the third season, Denver Human Services (DHS) is hosting Fresh Farm Stand, a produce market that helped deliver 5,500 pounds of ready-to-eat veggies and fruit to underserved Denverites last year. The market, which is open to the public, makes three stops each week: Mondays (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the DHS Richard T. Castro Building, Fridays (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the DHS Arie P. Taylor Montbello Office, and Saturdays (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at Union Station.

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This year, the market features produce, honey, and eggs from Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms in partnership with Veterans to Farmers (a program that helps train military veterans for agribusiness jobs). All of which means that buying your weekly supply of fresh chard and vine-ripened tomatoes helps a veteran get job training and experience.

And if that wasn’t enough of a reason to feel good about this program, Farm Stand is set up to reach families in need. Buyers can use SNAP food assistance program benefits cards (also known as EBT/Quest Cards) at the market. Thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture and LiveWell Colorado, they’ll also receive Double Bucks (which do exactly what the name says and increases the amount of money on the EBT card for fresh fruits and vegetables). What a fresh (quite literally) idea.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter or Instagram.

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