• 55°

Thumbs up, Thumbs down, July 10

Farmers market at health department

Tomorrow, the Boyle County Farmers Market will be held at the Boyle County Health Department, in an attempt to make it easier to acquire healthy, fresh food for populations for whom such food is often hard to come by.

Low-income families who receive benefits through programs like SNAP and WIC can currently get up to $20 to spend at farmers markets. That’s great because it means our work to ensure people in need get food is supporting farmers and boosting the local economy.

But tomorrow’s special event improves on this already good idea in two critical ways.

The first improvement: Families in need often don’t have the free time or resources to travel to a farmers market, so even if they have $20 available to spend, they may not be able to spend it. By bringing the farmers market to the health department, it’s more accessible to these populations.

The second improvement: Farmers market food can be more expensive than the mass-produced, factory-processed food available at grocery stores. People on a tight budget can’t really spend beyond the $20 their benefits provide, but at tomorrow’s event, that benefit will be doubled to $40. That’s enough to fill a family’s stomachs with healthy food for quite a while.

And there’s a secondary benefit to this program, too: It increases exposure to the farmers market for groups that may not have been exposed to it otherwise. With a broader customer base, farmers can be more successful and the local marketplace can grow.

It’s an all-around good thing and we’re glad to see it happening in Boyle County. The farmers market will be open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. tomorrow at the Boyle County Health Department, 448 S. 3rd St., Danville.

Sister City mural

Brandon and Kristin Long visited Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, this year, as part of the artist exchange program between Danville and its Sister City.

The centerpiece project of their trip was the creation of a mural, assembled from drawings by students at Castle Tower Special School. The students at the special-needs school not only created the initial drawings, they helped paint the giant mural that the Longs designed from the drawings.

The final product is a very happy, friendly piece of art, featuring smiling kids, a soccer field, video games, a town, a road, an airplane, an owl, a cat, a playground and much more. It’s 96 square feet of joy.

The project was a great way to continue building the two cities’ friendship. The Longs represented Danville well.