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Market Days!

Market Days! for Older Adults exists to address the growing problem of food insecurity in older adults in Larimer County. The program is a collaboration between the Larimer County CSU Extension, Larimer County Farmers’ Market, and Senior Access Points of Larimer County that launched in 2019.

The Food Bank of Larimer County estimates that 8.4% of older residents are food insecure. While federal assistance programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) exist, most of these older adults don’t quality.

“This is what we call the SNAP gap,” explained Cheryl Noble, Market Days! for Older Adults program coordinator. “Despite being low income, many adults don’t meet the threshold to qualify for federal assistance. It’s a lose-lose: they make too much to receive SNAP benefits but not enough to afford quality, nutritious food.”

Market Days! purchases food from local farmers, volunteers bag up the food in reusable shopping totes, and the produce is distributed across the county.

In November, The Larimer County Farmers’ Market has launched a fundraising campaign with a $10,000 goal. 100% of all donations received in November will go directly to purchasing food for lower-income older adults in Larimer County from local farmers.

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Providing nutritious food for older adults in need

Market Days! provides older, low-income adults with free, fresh and nutritious produce, supporting healthy aging and reducing food insecurity in local communities including the rural Red Feather Lakes area.

Volunteers sign up to deliver bags of fresh produce to low-income adults in Larimer County. For many, the bags of vegetables can be life-changing.

Patricia Lipinski, FNP, Share Why Market Days! is Important to Her

“Many of our patients live in poverty. One 90-year-old woman living alone was eating cat food,” said Tricia Lipinski, Nurse Practitioner at St. Luke’s Medical Clinic. “Several started crying when we delivered their bag of fresh produce. Market Days! is greatly needed in our community.”

For many low-income older adults, the cost of fresh produce can be a barrier. More affordable food choices, such as dry and canned goods, are not the most nutritious options.

Supporting local farmers

Produce is purchased directly from Larimer County farmers at the market, supporting local producers and the Northern Colorado farming community.

In 2020, with support from a COVID relief grant from the NextFifty Initiative and funding from the Larimer County Office on Aging, the program generated an additional $25,000 in revenue for participating farmers.

In addition to produce from market farmers, some produce is donated by community partners. This year, Market Days! received a donation from the Colorado Dry Bean Committee to provide Colorado-grown beans for participants.

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A community-wide effort to support healthy aging

Market Days! identifies participants through community partners working directly with older adults in Larimer County.

This coalition of partners, including the Larimer County Office on Aging, Housing Catalyst, Volunteers of America (Meals on Wheels), A Little Help, Grand Family Coalition and Neighbor to Neighbor, provides a suite of services to support healthy aging in Larimer County.

In addition to fresh produce, bags also include recipes and tips on how to cook or preserve the produce provided. Senior Access Points has also developed information sheets on aging-related resources available in the community for medical and personal assistance that are included in produce bags to further support the needs of Market Days! participants.

Jim, a Market Days! recipient shares how the program has helped him

The Numbers:

In 2020, 269 individuals received bags during the market season (a total of 1,161 bags).

In 2021, 446 individuals received bags during the market season (a total of 1,447 bags). Volunteers spent over 343 hours packing produce, delivering bags, and supporting the program.

With increasing levels of food insecurity across the state, the number of older adults in need is expected to grow as well.

You can make a difference! For just $15, you can buy a bag of farm-fresh local produce for an older adult in need. Your donation helps alleviate the hard decision between paying bills or buying food, encourages healthy aging, and connects local farmers to the greater community while supporting the local economy.

Buy a bag!

Click here to read more about our collaboration with Senior Access Points, as well as our community partners and sponsors.

Support Market Days!

Make a donation to provide low-income older adults with fresh produce from the farmers’ market.

Learn about Sponsorship Opportunities

We offer a variety of sponsorship opportunities for small and large businesses. Your sponsorship supports our work to reduce food insecurity in older adults in Larimer County.

Review our Sponsorship Opportunities

For more information, contact Cheryl Noble at the Larimer County Extension Office: cnoble@larimer.org or 970-498-6000.

Thank you to our sponsors:

United Health Care
Lucky's Market
Larimer County - Committed to Excellence
Renewal by Anderson
BioBubble - Controlled Environments - Custom Solutions