Virginia using punch cards to help farmers markets - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Virginia using punch cards to help farmers markets

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Virginia is giving shoppers another reason to head to your local farmers market.

The Department of Agriculture is now offering punch cards to reward people for buying local.

You'll get a punch for every $10 spent on Virginia Grown foods and products.

Once you spend $140, send the punch card to the address on the back and you'll be eligible to win a $250 Virginia Grown gift basket.

It's a bit of a modest prize, but Downtown Roanoke Inc. believes it could help influence more people to think local when they shop.

"We have tourists and we also have local residents that shop at our market," said Farmers Market Manager Tracie Hughes. "We want to make sure we have Virginia Grown products and that we represent our farmers properly."

The Virginia Cooperative Extension estimates that if every household spent $10 per week on locally grown products it would pump more than $1.6 billion into Virginia's economy.