Starting on the first Sunday in August, Bayview residents will find a new farmers market on Yosemite between Keith and Jennings streets.
The farmers market will run every Sunday for five weeks after its grand opening. If it attracts enough shoppers and vendors are pleased, the program will become permanent.
"We’ve been working on this expansion with EDoT since the beginning of April," said Ben Palazzolo, director of direct marketing at PCFMA. "This will be a pilot program and a great opportunity to see if this is sustainable for the Bayview community.”
There have been two previous attempts to host a farmers market in Bayview Plaza and Mendell Plaza, but Palazzolo said activating Yosemite Street—which will be closed off to traffic for the market—will bring better attendance and more opportunities for growth.
One major plus for the pilot program is a partnership with CalFresh, said Kristin Houk, president of EDoT.
"We've been incrementally trying to build this market and ensure that its affordable to everyone in the community," she told us. "Low-income families or individuals will double their dollars if they use their EBT cards at this market."
"This is probably the most important component of this program," she continued, "and yet another level of access for this community to have fresh and nutritious food."
Access is particularly critical for the community in Bayview-Hunters Point. The U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies much of the neighborhood as a food desert, where a significant percentage of the population is designated low-income and a half-mile or a mile away from the nearest supermarket.
Farmers who consistently participate with other markets throughout the city will be part of the Bayview farmers market, and at least six community-based craft food vendors have also expressed interest in participating.
The collaborators are also brainstorming ideas on adding other elements, including food trucks and live music.
“We definitely want people from the Bayview community to sell in the market," Palazzolo told Hoodline. “We are still in the process of permitting are working with small businesses to make sure they have everything from a business license to a temporary food facility permit."
"It’s definitely not easy to put together a farmer’s market and can be costly,” he added.
Palazzolo said he wanted the expansion to be something that the community looks forward to on a regular basis without doing something seasonal.
“This pilot program will give the residents the opportunity to see how it works," he said, "and if it’s something they want in their community."
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