“This farmers’ market has deeply changed the way I eat. I started to eat more fruit and vegetables. For example, I started to eat chard and kale, which I’ve never had before. The doctor said that my diabetes has improved thanks to the changes I took in my life.” (Yazmin Garcia, EPA resident and regular market customer and volunteer, 2016).
What a year it has been for us at Collective Roots, and in particular for our EPA Community Farmers’ Market. The market not only provides increased access to healthy, affordable produce for the community, but also offers a valuable gathering place that encourages connections and thoughtful consumption. Families from East Palo Alto and surrounding neighborhoods gather together to meet up with old and new friends, while buying fresh vegetables and fruit, delicious bread, and local eggs. Here is a glimpse of what we accomplished this last season, and where we’re heading next!
Let’s take a look of our main accomplishments:
- Increased overall attendance (almost 4,600 families in total, which includes repeating customers) by almost 45% and average monthly attendance (542 families) by more than 20% over last year (in 2016 over 990 families are enrolled in the Matching Programs)
- Provided over $15k of matching funds, which doubled participants’ purchasing power, enabling them to purchase $30k worth of produce
- Almost doubled enrollment to 991 Matching Programs participants, an almost 68% increase over previous years’ enrollments
- We doubled number of vendors from three to six, adding eggs, bread, and honey vendors. Vendors generated over $53,000 over the season
- We improved our market operating, reporting, and evaluation systems by utilizing an online database service.
- We improved weekly volunteer support by securing a group of 4 dedicated volunteers.
Looking forward to the upcoming market year, we will be starting the market in the latter part of April and are working on some new ideas to continue to improve the market, add variety, and increase community connections.