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Grantee Blog

East Orange Farmer’s Market is Affordable and Fun

This year’s market showcases five local produce farmers, fresh flowers, baked breads, cookies and pies, smoothies, food trucks, even local honey.  95% of the vendors and local farmers are women or people of color.  College Interns developed and surveyed market attendees for five weeks.  80% of those surveyed are low and moderately low income.  Approximately the same number of women surveyed receive WIC benefits or senior vouchers for use at the Farmer’s Market. 

Mark and Emilio are working to purchase an EBT machine/service and associated bank account and station it at the information booth for the use of all eligible vendors.  Shoppers receive a receipt for purchase from eligible farmer’s and present the same for WIC payment at the information booth.  Once the transaction is complete the shopper presents her receipt to the farmer for her produce.  The farmer’s return their receipts for compensation.   Offering WIC to shopper’s increases their options to purchase and participate in the weekly market.  

Attendees like the centrality and accessibility of the Farmer’s Market location.  Emilio the Market Manager, counted each market attendee using a handheld counter.  We currently serve 300-500 shoppers every Tuesday.  Many return every Tuesday for their favorite products or food truck.  Even those residents and commuters that return from work after 4:30 are encouraged to participate. The information booth offers food demos and free fruit/herb and veggie water and a cooling station weekly.  Government and nonprofit service agencies are on hand with information and materials and resources.

 

About the Grantee

City of East Orange

East Orange is a 3.9 square mile city in Essex County, New Jersey with a community of approximately 65,000 residents (2014). East Orange shares borders with the following cities and towns: Newark to the east and south and Glen ridge and Bloomfield to the north. It is the States 20th most populous municipality in 2010 and ranked second of 22 in Essex County.