Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Food Trust’s Farmers Market Program

Name: The Food Trust’s Farmers Market Program

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Years: 1992- Present

Funded by: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Food Trust strives to make healthy food available to all. Working with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers, they’eve developed a comprehensive approach that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food.

The Food Trust organization began working with communities to develop lasting and stable sources of affordable foods, through farmers markets and nutritional education classes. Lack of access to healthy, affordable foods has a direct, measurable impact on our health. Research has shown that the presence of grocery stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables in a community helps people maintain a healthy weight. Through the identification of economic development resources, active public/private partnerships, rigorous research and policy advocacy, The Food Trust has successfully addressed the lack of supermarket access in Pennsylvania, New York, Louisiana, Illinois. At present, they are also laying the groundwork for similar initiatives in New Jersey and Colorado. With a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we will be expanding this campaign into 8 more states across the country over the next several years.

Philadelphia has the second lowest number of supermarkets per capita of major cities in the nation. The Food Trust began its efforts to address supermarket-access issues here. Their network of farmers’ markets helps sustain regional farms and serves more than 125,000 customers in the Philadelphia region. Many of their farmers’ markets are located in neighborhoods underserved by supermarkets, grocery stores and other fresh food outlets. All of their markets accept food stamps (EBT/Access cards) and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers and provide helpful nutrition information to ensure that fresh, local foods are available to everyone. The Food Trust continues to reach new heights of success in promoting healthy eating and food availability in urban communities and advocating for policy to promote long-term change.


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