Free bus to Greenfield Farmers Market for two weekends

The Recorder, October 16, 2019, by Melina Bourdeau.

A free bus will travel from Leyden Woods and seven other stops to the Greenfield Farmers Market on the common for the last two weeks of its outdoor season, thanks to a grant and local sponsorship.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 26, people will be able to use a F.M. Kuzmeskus bus to get to the farmers market from 8:05 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Greenfield Farmers Market Assistant Manager Trouble Mandeson said she was inspired to provide transportation to people because she saw a need in the community.

“One of the interests I have is food justice, and I believe food is love,” Mandeson said. “In my role as the assistant manager, I found out about the (Healthy Incentives Program), which is funded by the state, which rewards people who use (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) SNAP benefits.”

She said many people don’t know the benefits are available or how they work.

People who receive SNAP benefits through the state are automatically enrolled in HIP, which provides $1 for each dollar spent on eligible fruits and vegetables, up to a monthly limit. People can earn HIP incentives at participating farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm share programs.

There are eight HIP participating groups at the Greenfield Farmers Market, according to Mandeson, but she also noticed a problem.

“There is no Saturday transportation for people who don’t have a car, are disabled or otherwise unable to transport themselves to the farmers market to access the vendors,” Mandeson said.

With donations from Alber Hearing Services, the Greenfield Rotary Club and Farm Credit East, the bus will be funded for two weeks.

Mandeson said she not only hopes that people will use the bus, but will be patient with any potential schedule changes.

“This is the first year we’ve done this,” she said. “We want to provide people with this resource, but we hope people can be cooperative with us. We’re grateful to anyone who uses it and we apologize in advance for any snafus that may happen.”

The approximate bus route is as follows:

  • Leyden Woods — leaves at 8:05 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
  • Oak Courts — leaves at 8:11 a.m., 9:06 a.m., 10:16 a.m. and 11:36 a.m.
  • Elm Terrace — leaves at 8:17 a.m., 9:12 a.m., 10:22 a.m. and 11:42 a.m.
  • Greenfield Gardens — leaves at 8:21 a.m., 9:16 a.m., 10:26 a.m. and 11:46 a.m.
  • Mill House — leaves at 8:26 a.m., 9:21 a.m., 10:31 a.m. and 11:51 a.m.
  • John Zon Community Center — leaves at 8:31 a.m., 9:26 a.m., 10:36 a.m. and 11:56 a.m.
  • Weldon Apartments — leaves at 8:36 a.m., 9:31 a.m., 10:41 a.m. and 12:01 p.m.
  • Greenfield Acres — leaves at 8:42 a.m., 9:37 a.m., 10:47 a.m. and 12:06 p.m.
  • Greenfield Farmers Market — leaves at 8:50 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

For more information or to check on live updates, email greenfieldfarmersmarket@gmail.com or visit the Greenfield Farmers Market Facebook page at bit.ly/31fZ6Tu.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at 413-772-0261, ext. 263 or mbourdeau@recorder.com.

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