Without a grocery store in Marlborough, retail options for healthy food, specifically fresh produce, are extremely limited. A farmers market can offer a neighborhood regular access to fresh, locally grown produce, and can provide local growers- home gardeners, community gardeners, and school gardens as well as urban farmers- an opportunity to sell their surplus vegetables and fruit. As part of Marlborough’s signature event, invite food producers from the Marlborough Healthy Foods Growers Network to sell their goods and celebrate the freshest local food. The Fresh Bread! stand can also pop-up at the event to provide affordable, healthy breads to Marlborough residents.
Through the Catalyst Plan process, we learned that businesses drive social connection in the Marlborough neighborhoods, and a farmers market is a great example. Direct transactions can build relationships between Marlborough residents and the people who grow their food. Other healthy food programs in the leadership network can also participate in the signature event, to help build awareness of neighborhood healthy foods assets, including opportunities for Marlborough residents to join community gardens and work with neighbors to grow their own food. The buzz of a regular farmers market will enhance the draw to Marlborough Village, and will support the identity of Marlborough as a great place to eat healthfully.
Additional information to implement this opportunity below:
- Establish partnerships with market associations, and develop a workplan to set up market management, guidelines, and promotion.
- To support affordable food for all neighborhood residents, the market would need an EBT machine and a system for managing SNAP/ vendor payments. Reach out to Beans&Greens for match program participation.
- Particular challenges to address: Structure vendor participation so that the farmers make enough money to stay at market; promote market to increase foot traffic
Champions and their roles:
The Marlborough Growers network, part of the Healthy Foods leadership network, is the natural organizing body for a Farmers Market. Diane Hershberger of Stonycrest Farm is the lead champion of that network.
Your Neighborhood Market is a collaborative initiative of Kansas City’s neighborhood farmers markets, promoting the well-being of our Metro communities through local food, healthy families and strong neighborhood economies.
The Missouri Farmers Market Association is a group of markets, market managers, market supporters and vendors working together to make Missouri farmers markets healthful, vibrant and vital parts of their communities.
Connect with these networks to optimize market start up and operations.
Funding sources or supportive programs:
The Beans&Greens Double Value Program increases the purchasing power of SNAP and Senior Coupons for healthy, local food from farmers’ markets. Reach out to Jenn Brockman to learn more and apply for match program participation.