Denise Warfield shops for 50% off fresh local produce with SNAP and Georgia Fresh For Less at Lithonia Farmers Market.
On a typical day at the Lithonia Farmers Market, you will find Mr. and Ms. Brother Mohammad selling their sweetest onions, Keeyah Gardens pushing their homegrown pickles, and you will not have to go far to also find Denise Warfield searching for the sweetest desserts.
Beyond Denise’s love for desserts, she was the founder of her very own community garden that she ran for 19 years with only the onset of COVID-19 to stop her. She feels right at home at the Lithonia Farmers Market where she not only buys her groceries but also where she volunteers once a month. “This was a great opportunity for me to try new fruits, vegetables, and vegan dishes.” Denise explains.
Denise enjoys the Fresh For Less program, because she can afford more fresh fruits and vegetables on her SNAP benefits: “I think that it is awesome to be able to cut your bill in half. You get the most amount of food for the least amount of money possible.” She is especially motivated to eat healthy in order for her and her husband to keep up with her grandkids. “My husband, he’s a smoker, and he is changing his habits — we both are trying to eat healthier. I feel like I’m at a point of my life where I don’t live to eat anymore, I eat to live,” she notes.
The Lithonia Farmers Market is the perfect place for Denise to choose from a wide selection of fruits and vegetables from 25 or more vendors to help her achieve her health goals.
She also enjoys the market because of the warm-hearted community: “I love the atmosphere, I love the camaraderie. I love the fellowship that I have with the farmers, and some of the vendors. I just think it’s awesome! Being at the market on Saturday’s has allowed me to build new relationships within and outside the community,” she affirms.
She even discovered her love for vegan food, although she was skeptical at first. “You know, people saying they’re making vegan stuff and you’re like ‘hmm’. But actually, it’s really good! I think if I didn’t tell you you wouldn’t know. Even my husband enjoys it!”
Now she enjoys picking and choosing from new vegan dishes every week at the market. “I tried a vegan meal from O Yeah, It’s Vegan for the first time. Hombre is a regular vendor who always sells out before the close of the market. I ate oysters’ mushrooms, collard greens and candied yams. It was tasty, full of flavor and delicious!” Denise recalls.
Denise continues to be an active member of her community and is inspired by her healthy lifestyle to be an advocate for teaching the next generation about nutrition. “We can do more to teach our kids where our food comes from, ground to table. When kids get involved, they tell their parents, ‘hey ma, we need to be eating like this!’ It will encourage parents to change their way of eating as well. Denise asserts.
All in all, Denise holds a special place in her heart for the Lithonia Farmers Market. She describes her preference for market food over regular groceries stores, “they just taste different,” and also speaks of her appreciation for the dedication that the farmers have for the market, “they are there, sleet or rain.” Denise’s journey of discovering healthy foods is fun and enjoyable thanks to the Lithonia Farmers Market!
The story was contributed by Alyssa Milton.