Farmers Market adds bilingual Food Navigator to assist shoppers

As part of their shared mission to ensure that all members of our community have access to fresh, healthy, and local food, Ottawa Food and the Holland Farmers Market have partnered to bring a food navigator to the market. 

Ottawa Food recently hired Chara Bouma-Prediger for the post. Bouma-Prediger has long had a passion for helping community members in need and will be available at the market every Saturday. When not working at the market, she serves as a Food and Resource Connection team member at Community Action House.
"I'm very excited to be the food navigator at the Holland Farmers Market,” says Bouma-Prediger. “This position is really designed to help customers become comfortable using different food assistance programs at the market. I'm available to explain how each program works, give tours of the market, help customers shop, and give out recipes and ideas of how to use and preserve the bounty that the market offers. I'm passionate about healthy, local food, and making sure that everyone can access it."

Navigating the market

As food navigator, Bouma-Prediger will assist market customers who use food assistance programs, including the Bridge/EBT Card, Double Up Food Bucks, Senior Project FRESH, and WIC Project Fresh programs. She will walk new customers through how the programs work, help them find market vendors that accept the programs, and share tips and tricks for utilizing produce that is currently in season. 

Bouma-Prediger is also fluent in Spanish to help Spanish-speaking customers navigate the market.
“Ottawa Food hiring a food navigator for the Holland Farmers Market is just one of so many examples of how our community partners come together to help us reach our shared goals,”
explains Kara de Alvare, Marketing Coordinator for the Holland Farmers Market. “The market is so fortunate to be a part of a community that cares so much about those in need.”

Ottawa Food and the market
Ottawa Food is a collaboration of more than 45 agencies and individuals working to ensure that community members have access to healthy, local, and affordable food. Their members come from a variety of sectors, including public health, food pantries, human service organizations, farmers, local businesses, community members, and more. 

For more information about Ottawa Food’s services, visit ottawafood.org or find them on Facebook.
The Holland Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday at the Eighth Street Market Place in Downtown Holland at 150 W. Eighth St. The market hours are 8 a.m.–2 p.m., with the first hour of shopping currently reserved for seniors ages 60 and older, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised. 

Masks are required of all customers ages 5 and older. The market offers ample free parking, indoor restroom facilities, and an ATM onsite. 

Bridge Cards (SNAP or EBT), Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), WIC Project Fresh, Senior Project FRESH and Market Bucks are accepted at the market. All vendors accept cash, and a number of vendors also accept credit cards. 

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