COLUMBUS, Kans. — Local produce is front and center in Southeast Kansas.

Thursday was opening day for the Columbus Farmers Market. It started five years ago with only two vendors but today, the market is at full capacity with 14 vendors and two local food trucks. It’s helped make local fruits and vegetables more accessible for families who may not be able to afford them otherwise.

Buyers can use “Double-up Food Bucks” through the SNAP benefit program. Vendors will also accept senior vouchers through the Kansas Nutrition Program for Senior Citizens.

“I think it’s extremely important because it’s about the health of your community, and any time you eat locally sourced food, the closer you get to your food, the healthier that food is going to be, the longer that food is going to last. For example, you can buy a head of lettuce from me today, put it in your crisper and it’s going to last a solid two weeks,” said Bobbi Williams, Columbus Farmers Market Manager.

The Farmers Market will run every Thursday from now until the middle of October, 4:00 to 6:30.