Ottawa Food hires food navigator for Holland Farmers Market

Chara Bouma-Prediger Courtesy Ottawa Food

The Holland Farmers Market now has an on-site team member to help customers navigate food assistance programs.

As part of their shared mission to ensure all community members have access to fresh, healthy, local food, Ottawa Food and the Holland Farmers Market said Monday that they partnered to create the role of a food navigator to work at the market at 150 W. Eighth St. in Holland, and Ottawa Food hired Chara Bouma-Prediger to fill the position.

Bouma-Prediger will be at the Holland Farmers Market every Saturday to help customers understand the various food assistance programs, including the Bridge/EBT Card, Double Up Food Bucks, Senior FRESH and WIC Project Fresh programs.

She will walk new customers through how the programs work, help them find participating vendors and share tips and tricks for making use of in-season produce. Bouma-Prediger also is fluent in Spanish to help Spanish-speaking customers learn more about their food assistance options.

“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,” said Kara de Alvare, marketing coordinator for Holland Farmers Market. “The market is so fortunate to be a part of a community that cares so much about those in need.”

When not working at the market, Bouma-Prediger serves as a food and resource connection team member at Community Action House in Holland.

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

The Holland Farmers Market is open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Eighth Street Market Place.

In light of COVID-19, the first hour of shopping currently is reserved for seniors ages 60-plus, pregnant women and the immunocompromised. Masks are required of all customers ages 5 and older.

The market offers free parking, indoor restrooms and an on-site ATM.

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.

More information on the Holland Farmers Market is available at or by calling (616) 355-1138.

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