Final Report for LNE01-149
The Anacostia Farmers Market of the Capital Area Food Bank, received a generous Community Incentives reimbursable grant award of $79,577 from Northeast SARE in March of 2001. This grant has brought together small, local farmers and their products with low-income, urban consumers for increased nutritional options in food selection for consumers and new revenue-producing customers for the farmers. In the process, the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC has enjoyed expanding sustainable farm-to-market choices in selection and availability as well as nutrition education and other enhancements offered at the Market site. The Anacostia Farmers Market exists to make fresh foods available in the Anacostia neighborhoods of Southeast Washington, where only one major supermarket chain store, located on the border of Wards 7 and 8, serves the 200,000 residents of these District neighborhoods. Bringing small local farmers together with low-income, urban consumers, the Market’s goal is to provide the access to fresh produce that is lacking in these resource-deprived sections of our nation’s capital. Harvest for Health, the Market’s full complement of nutrition education programs, adds increased partnerships with community organizations to encourage self-sufficiency for the Market as a fully independent community administered enterprise.
The Community Incentives project was designed as a powerful model demonstrating the value of providing incentive payments to farmers, establishing a “producers-only” farmers market in a low-income urban area unaccustomed to access to fresh produce and other farm products. These incentives encourage farmers to participate in providing nutritious foods in low-income areas. Context for Community Incentives, allowing us to create and advertise the Farmers Market in the first place, has been our supportive network of community-based agencies, which are members of the Food Bank. Flowing from this context are the key components of the project, beginning with the Anacostia Farmers Market in Southeast Washington, managed by CAFB originally in cooperation with the Union Temple Baptist Church and with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s organic Clagett Farm, located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Since the market opened in 1999, it has provided high-quality, farm-fresh produce to a community that otherwise has very little access to healthy, fresh foods, and which generally has an uninformed familiarity with local agriculture. The Anacostia Farmers Market is one of the few producers-only markets in Washington, D.C. that is located in a majority African-American neighborhood, thus necessitating a culturally tailored product mix, advertising campaign and organizational structure that differs from markets with customer bases from other ethnic groups. Additionally, the nature of a producers-only farmers market requires a slightly different strategy for developing and promoting the seasonal and local nature of the products available.
Our primary target consumers are people who deal with the realities of difficult access to fresh produce and other farm-fresh products every day; in other words, a customer-base longing for a stable, reliably located farmers market, small farmers who participate in marketing to low-income areas, and small-business entrepreneurs from the neighborhood who could complete the circle of community involvement in the market by making the products of their talents available for sale. Many have been customers of the Anacostia Farmers Market and have participated in the Community Incentives project over the years of our grant, their degree of involvement becoming stronger in most cases each year. These partners include new ones, such as St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, Community Harvest, Brain Food, Shaw Eco Village, Arch Development Corporation and Bread for the City. These have joined the project as a result of the Market’s move to its present address to the 14th Street Meridian, between V & U Streets, SE. Other partners have been with us since the beginning. These include the Allen Chapel AME Church, the Clagett Farm, owned by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Community Harvest, and small entrepreneurs, who bring variety and humor to the AFM.
With a 2004 season average of 90 adult shoppers (children are present in significant numbers, but are not counted as consumers because while they influence purchases, they are not ultimately the purchasers) buying at the Anacostia Farmers Market weekly, we surpassed last year’s neighborhood participation figures. The Market ended up attracting over 1,800 consumers during the season, even though this year we moved the Market to a different location at 14th Street, Between U and V Streets, SE and adjusted our hours of operation to Wednesdays from 3PM to 7PM, to more easily serve senior citizens and families and those people returning from work. The institution of a dedicated education station formalized the nutrition education aspect of the Anacostia Farmers Market, around which cooking demonstrations and activities for children and families were centered. Educational interaction, including seasonal menu and materials distribution, event-specific opportunities, and fresh produce poundage sales and distribution to a mix of 1,800 regular and occasional low-income consumers gave each week’s Market its own special character and offerings.
The Anacostia Farmers Market seeks to address the scarcity of farm fresh foods in low-income, urban areas east of the Anacostia River in several ways. Bringing together small, local farmers with urban consumers is the backbone of the project. In its new location at “Peace Park” at the corner of 14th and U Streets, Southeast, the Market attracted its largest attendance ever during the 2004 season. Over 1,800 customers relied on the Wednesday afternoon and evening hours as their chance to stock up on farm-fresh foods and other fresh products offered by our farmer-vendors. During the 2004 season, the Market averaged 94 paying customers per Market day, with 57.8% coming from WIC/Senior FNMP vouchers. In all, 7,648 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables were distributed each month through donations and sales. (Color Fact Sheets featuring the Market and From The Ground Up as well as a Customer Survey from the 2004 Market Season will accompany the hard copy of this report.)
Nutrition education augments the Market experience and production of a Cooking Close to Home curriculum, along with a manual titled “A How-To Guide: Homestyle Cooking with Locally Grown Foods” is close to completion, prepared with a grant from Kaiser Permanente. The cook book is tied to our educational, volunteer chef-based program that addresses the need for culturally specific, informed nutritional choices through the hands-on medium of cooking classes and menu planning. The course teaches the importance and health benefits of seasonal market choices, providing a link that benefits small local growers and communities in need. Woven into the curriculum is information on budgeting in how to maximize quality and cost saving, shopping and safe food handling, as well as information on a broad range of other necessary life skills. Offering extra enhancements at the Market creates interest and drives up actual customer numbers for the farmers, while meeting certain other nutrition education goals for the Anacostia Farmers Market overall.
The Farmer Target was designed to provide incentives and originally was slated to guarantee at least $500 in income a week for each farmer participating, reimbursed through the grant. During the 2002 season, income guarantees were increased to $750 to insure farmer participation. In 2003, farmers agreed to a reduction of the reimbursement to a $300 guarantee. In 2003, four farmers participated regularly throughout the season and, with promotions, our reimbursement request this year will be $17,251.66, considerably less than the year before and leaving a remainder of $12,269.44 in the grant for expenditures during the 2004, and last, year of our SARE grant partnership. In 2004, five farmers regularly participated at the lower reimbursement rate of $300.
The Low-Income Consumer Target: To improve sales and attendance at the Anacostia Farmers Market and to implement a Food Stamp/EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) sales tool at the market for customer ease and to boost market sales. Use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) technology sales at the Farmers Market continued to be a challenge throughout the project, but gained in utility over the 2004 season. Sales through WIC (S)FMNP, senior farmers market coupons, significantly increased in the last season of the project. Cook-offs, such as the Chili Bowl Bonanza, and family educational events, such as pumpkin decorating and cooking demonstrations, all advertised in weekly e-mail updates to District agencies and community partners, plus radio ads and flyers all contributed to a successful final project year.
During the 2004 Market Season, the goal of the Community Incentives Project as performed by the Anacostia Farmers Market was advanced by providing fresh produce and farm-fresh foods that appeal to an ethnically diverse customer base through the marriage of small farmer/low-income consumer interaction at a weekly, seasonal farmers market. This year we reinforced the use of seasonally fresh and available produce and other farm products through cooking demonstrations, menu and recipe suggestions at the Market and by offering what we named Cooking Close to Home classes concentrating on nutritional choices in menu planning, cooking, budgeting, and shopping. Sustainable action toward better nutritional choices for the urban communities in Wards 8 and portions of nearby Ward 7 were the result. We reached over 700 people out of a customer base of 1,800 throughout the market season with cooking demonstrations, classes, and informational flyers and menu planners we distributed to Market supporters during the 2004 market season.
A partial list of how the Anacostia Farmers Market interacted with the neighborhood and our low-income consumer base is included here. Each week was highlighted by a special event or promotion tied to seasonally available foods to be offered at the Market, as well as mindful preparation to attract and hold families and also the interest of individual shoppers. Other Capital Area Food Bank programs became partners in Community Incentives by providing nutrition education, fun events and field trips for neighborhood children. Our Chesapeake Bay Foundation partner, Clagett Farm, provided a venue for field trips hosted through our Kids Café program, in which children ages 5 through 17 had the opportunity to visit Clagett Farm, in nearby Upper Marlboro, Maryland, for hands-on lessons in how their fruit and vegetables are grown. Everyone went home with something for the table, although many selections were consumed on the farm or on the way home.
By adding attractive program offerings as incentives to increase participation, we brought together our two main constituents for the Market; low-income, urban residents of the Anacostia neighborhoods of Washington, DC and small area farmers offering fresh, locally grown and ethnically appropriate produce and other nutritious products. Homemade pumpkin bread and rolls were just two of the farmer-vendor selections that made it to market this season. In addition, each week at the Market featured different incentives, which were advertised through e-mail alerts, a newsletter, flyers placed in local businesses, radio spots, and the all-important word of mouth. These are just a few of these incentives available through the Anacostia Farmers Market to consumers in the District’s Wards 7 & 8 on a weekly basis from June through mid-November each year. Special themed events tied to seasonal foods and family activities, advertised through special family-oriented promotional strategies, such as coupons for dollars-off, attracted neighbors to the Market.
Mid-Summer Celebration – Offering cooking demonstrations and recipe taste-testing of special summer treats such as Cool Summer Gazpacho Salad and Peach-Berry Shakes, plus fresh produce nutrition at AFM’s Education Station stand;
Chili Bowl Bonanza – A September event featuring a homemade Chili Recipe Cook-Off with local celebrity judges, including the Anacostia Fire Department, Cole’s Café, the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl, and Majic 102.3 FM;
Family Fun Day – An August Family Fun event with seasonal produce offerings and cooking demonstrations, plus, through a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a giant “board” game that teaches the environmental influences on the Chesapeake Bay through the perspective of the Anacostia River;
Summer Farm Youth Initiative (FYI) project partnership. The Market provided field trips to our partner farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland to children from our Kids Café program. Clagett Farm provides an experience few of the urban, low-income children we serve have had in their young lives; that of picking their own vegetables, meeting the cattle, goats, chickens, wildlife and farm dogs and cats that live at Clagett Farm. During their three to five hour field trips, the children, in mixed age groups from five to 16, enjoyed nutrition education, environmental discussion and the opportunity to pick their own vegetables, eating some and taking some home. After these trips, our Kids Café site coordinators reported children requesting nutritious snacks and evidence that the children shared their experiences at home with siblings and parents;
The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum presented a family art and family history activity session in August based on a current exhibit “All the Stories Are True: African American Writers Speak”;
The Market was able to offer an expanded selection of items other than farmer produce this year, which were featured in recipe and cooking demonstrations at the Education Station throughout the season. These include Amish farmers cheese of many kinds, culinary herbs, edible flowers, homemade jams and mustards, mint tea, a variety of honeys, pasta sauce and tomato soup
Season Close, November 17th – The Market’s five local farmers outdid themselves with a wide selection of fall vegetables, including pumpkins, a variety of heritage tomatoes including cherokee, purple, and heirloom tomatoes, turnips, collards, kale and much more. Kids enjoyed face painting and miniature pumpkin art during fall Market events.
In order to better plan our approach to our Market constituents, we had applied for and received a Greater DC Cares COMPASS grant of pro bono MBA time to help us rewrite our business plan for the market. Those five individuals helped us to see our relationship to our constituents in a more comprehensive way than was previously the case, leading us to adjust our cooking class and cookbook plans into a cooking class specifically targeted to our group of consumers, along with a specialty curriculum and cookbook that would be all of a piece, with each piece serving the whole in a more integrated way.
We have learned a great deal about our Wards 7 & 8 consumers throughout the years of the Community Incentives Project, including the research and publication of the Food Bank’s own study From Farm to Table: Making the Connection in the Mid-Atlantic Food System, which surveyed conditions in the low-income Wards of the District of Columbia and came to some troubling conclusions about the nutritional choices available to those at risk of hunger in our area.
During the 2004 Market season, we addressed the issues of attendance and consumer appeal highlighted in previous reports through our COMPASS partnership and through publications, such as the AFM Newsletter, post card mailings, recipe cards and nutrition information and the tailoring of certain farm products to appeal to ethnic food preferences. Market strategies based on the Food Bank’s own study, done over the winter of 2003 of the Community Incentives Project, into food and shopping preferences in our target population was successful in that it has allowed us to work more closely with our Clagett Farm partner, and our other farmers, suggesting planting choices for eventual market appeal. Market managers, farmers and direct marketing advocates should understand the shopping behaviors, motivations and difficulties experienced by some of their African-American customers in general, and African-American senior citizens in particular. Senior citizens interviewed in our study indicated that food shopping locations are chosen for three reasons: 1) weekly sales advertisements for supermarket chains in the Washington Post are directly responsible for the types of food purchased and the stores frequented; 2) variety and selection of various foods is a significant factor in determining where seniors shop for food; and 3) significant concerns for personal health due to disease and aging lead to more health-conscious shopping habits and awareness of nutritional messages. It is important to note that findings indicate that while seniors represent a unique niche within any population, the shopping habits and behaviors of African-American senior citizens provided valuable insights into the cultural characteristics of the general African-American population that can be used in a marketing campaign.
In addition, the interview and survey data indicated that senior citizens are especially aware and critical of three characteristics of food products, including freshness, adequate selection and seasonality. Cultural characteristics include strong preferences for regular supplies of abundant and competitively priced greens (kale, collards, turnip and mustard), clean food vending areas, nostalgic identification for home-grown foods, friendly customer service and a wide selection of local and non-local fruits. In 2004, the mix of customer included more mothers with young children and to get a quick snapshot of our customers and why they came to us, we distributed a customer survey twice during the season, in July and again in October. As we had done in 2003, we encouraged people to fill out the survey through bonus certificates for market food choices.
Based upon this research, we tackled the 2003 season with the ideal of affordable prices with weekly sales or specials; clean and well displayed vendor stands; friendly and helpful customer service; and accessible and convenient with adequate parking. A personnel change around this time boosted the success of the marketing and advertisement aspect of the Anacostia Farmers Market, when Julie Adkisson-Bartholomew came on board in April of 2003, bringing a marketing background and many ideas with her. As part of the mandate to increase consumer satisfaction and attendance, events and promotions displayed in the “Methods” section were launched.
An E-mail Alert, flyers, banners, bus signage, radio announcements and interviews created awareness and excitement around the Market as it opened in its new location. The Anacostia Farmers Market Coloring Book, menu and recipe suggestions geared to seasonally available produce and materials developed during the winter of 2004 alerted consumers to the availability and uses of the farm-fresh products offered at the Anacostia Farmers Market. During the spring and early summer of the 2004 Market season, large banners were placed at strategic intersections and commuter travel routes; 3 sets of 2,000 market fliers in the Afro-American newspaper; the use of sales, coupons and other traditional marketing techniques in all fliers and the delivery of fresh peaches to local radio stations, resulting in free PSA's continue to be time-honored strategies for advertising the Market.
Special themed events tied to seasonal foods and family activities, advertised through special family-oriented promotional strategies, such as coupons for dollars-off, attracted neighbors to the Market. The Mid-Summer Celebration offered cooking demonstrations and recipe taste-testing of special summer treats such as Cool Summer Gazpacho Salad and Peach-Berry Shakes, plus fresh produce nutrition at AFM’s Education Station stand. The Chili Bowl Bonanza, held in September, featured a homemade Chili Recipe Cook-Off with local celebrity judges, including the Anacostia Fire Department, Cole’s Café, the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl, and Majic 102.3 FM, which broadcast the event as they participated during the judging. In August 2004, Family Fun Day combined seasonal produce offerings and cooking demonstrations with some hands-on activities. Through a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation a giant “board” game that teaches the environmental influences on the Chesapeake Bay through the perspective of the Anacostia River was spread out on the ground and children were invited to “walk the watershed.” The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum presented a family art and family history activity session in August based on a current exhibit “All the Stories Are True: African American Writers Speak”. At Season close on November 17th, the Market’s five local farmers outdid themselves with a wide selection of fall vegetables, including pumpkins, a variety of heritage tomatoes, turnips, collards, kale and much more. Kids enjoyed face painting and miniature pumpkin art during fall Market events.
In addition, Food Bank organizational partners contributed a great deal to Market offerings in 2004. An example is the Summer Farm Youth Initiative (FYI) project partnership. The Market provided field trips to our partner farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland to children from our Kids Café program. Clagett Farm provides an experience few of the urban, low-income children we serve have had in their young lives; that of picking their own vegetables, meeting the cattle, goats, chickens, wildlife and farm dogs and cats that live on Clagett Farm’s gentle acres. During their three to five hour field trips, the children, in mixed age groups from five to 16, enjoyed nutrition education, environmental discussion and the opportunity to pick their own vegetables, eating some and taking some home. After these trips, our Kids Café site coordinators reported children requesting nutritious snacks and evidence that the children shared their experiences at home with siblings and parents.
The Market was able to offer an expanded selection of items other than farmer produce this year, which were featured in recipe and cooking demonstrations at the education station throughout the season. These include Amish farmers cheese of many kinds, culinary herbs, edible flowers, homemade jams and mustards, mint tea, a variety of honeys, pasta sauce and tomato soup.
Bringing together underserved, low-income urban consumers and local farmers for their reciprocal benefit under the Community Incentive, NE SARE umbrella has been, we feel, a great success. It has allowed us to maximize community partner resources and go on to now realistically contemplate the goal of a totally self-sustaining, independent Market within three years. With new and tried and true community partners, such as Community Harvest and their extensive community non-profit network, augmented by Capital Area Food Bank agency network and programs, we will continue to expand access to farm-fresh foods in the historic Anacostia neighborhood of Southeast Washington, DC, benefiting local farmers and providing nutritious, farm-fresh food selections to residents of Anacostia.
Additional Project Outcomes
Impacts of Results/Outcomes
The Market Season of 2004 was the most successful in the Community Incentive grant period. Attendance and sales both increased, we attracted many more partnerships and entrepreneurial interest, both of which have led to collaborative plans for the 2005 Market Season. New partners include Community Harvest, an organization based in the District that has as its mission to create locally rooted, sustainable food systems that meet the needs of both underserved communities and small farmers in the region. We received endorsements from the DC City Council and the Ward 8 Business Council as well and have attracted the attention of organizations devoted to helping youth in low-income, urban areas become entrepreneurs, learning business and job skills as they earn.
Knowing that market location was essential to building a regular clientele, we surveyed sites during the winter of 2004 and located one with the most potential; the 14th Street Meridian, between V & U Streets, SE known locally as Peace Park. A pavilion park that splits 14th Street, SE by a wide sidewalk with grassy borders lined with shade trees, Peace Park is city property that hosts occasional events, mostly organized by nearby churches, including two of the Market’s partners, Union Temple Baptist Church and St. Philips Episcopal. Close-by two main roads running through Anacostia, Martin Luther King Avenue and Good Hope Road, the Park is a beautiful location and its lack of affiliation with any specific church or local community group recommended it to us from the first. Although we looked at 12 locations in all, we chose the 14th Street Meridian, Peace Park, location and have been very happy with this choice.
A comparison of the past two seasons shows an increase in interest and in sales at the Anacostia Farmers Market. We saw a 10% increase in attendance from 2003 to this new site in 2004. In 2003, an average of 75 adults (children were not recorded that year) per shopping day visited the Market. In 2004, 90 shopping adults visited the Market, with many more returning passers-by, both on foot and those who drove by and returned later. Customer survey results from surveys conducted in July 2004 and again in October 2004, with a total of 68 participants, show that awareness of the Market has grown in different ways. Walk-ups were by far the most frequent when it came to a first encounter with the Market, showing the importance of location, with friends and then flyers and signs next in line.
When asked what brought them to the Market, the availability of the fresh produce and other farm-fresh products rated twice as high as good prices and friendly service, although these were second and third in importance. Coupons, events, convenience of WIC (S)FMNP coupon availability, and community fellowship followed. (The full text of questions and responses to the surveys are included in the hard copy report mailed to the NE SARE office in Vermont.)
Farmer satisfaction was higher in 2004 than in previous years, even though the location had changed and the reimbursement rate was also lower than in the beginning of our Community Incentives grant from NE SARE. Plans are underway for an expanded Market for the 2005 season and the farmers see the advantage of new partners and vendors that will attract a wider audience looking for a variety of items for which to shop in “one stop.”
During our SARE grant years, we made fresh foods available through the Anacostia Farmers Market and brought small, local farmers, including minority farmers, together with low-income, urban consumers whose exposure to a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products is often extremely limited. This goal was reached during our Community Incentives grant, with a slow but steady increase in attendance and sales for both farmers and consumers. Sales figures, especially during 2004, have increased and in many ways, the project has been run very economically; the largest expenditure from the SARE grant being the early incentive program in the first year for the farmers.
Another aspect of the project perhaps does not get enough mention. The exchange of ideas and good humor among the farmers and the low-income consumers is an important part of the project. Without the Anacostia Farmers Market, this exchange would not be taking place on a weekly basis in the present location. These exchanges bring two groups of people into contact with one another who might not regularly have a chance to see into each others worlds. This is a very relevant additional achievement of the project and one that has created more opportunities as the Market management, customers, local businesses and farmers saw opportunities for further growth and program offerings.
To augment the Market’s offerings, we are currently writing a Cooking Close to Home curriculum, an educational, skills-based, volunteer chef-based program that addresses the specific, culturally-based need for informed nutritional choices through the hands-on medium of cooking classes and menu planning tied to our Market season and fresh produce availability. Woven into the curriculum is information on budgeting, shopping and safe food handling, as well as information on a broad range of other necessary life skills. The Anacostia Farmers Market is building partnerships with community agencies to enable them to host classes that educate about the benefits of nutritious, low-cost and easy to prepare food. This part of the overall Anacostia Farmers Market program will maximize the positive effects on the health of our low-income constituency and that of their families. Throughout our grant years, we encouraged participants to initiate more direct control in their health and provided ideas for parents to encourage children to actively participate in meal planning, to reduce the amounts of added fat, sugar and salts participants typically use in meal preparation and choose for themselves through an increase in informed shopping.
The Anacostia neighborhood has a great need for fresh foods in variety and at reasonable prices. Funds from our NE SARE Community Incentives grant years allowed us to reach a new level of farmer and community participation. We now can contemplate a long-established goal of the Anacostia Farmers Market; to see it become a community-run enterprise, providing opportunities for small business incubation and economic advantage. Our plans now include a three year project to sustain our working presence and Market location, but also to promote the participation of volunteers, farmers, vendors, entrepreneurs and customers to build a solid framework of community ownership around the very basic necessity of healthful, fresh foods. The Capital Area Food Bank’s diverse revenue stream, institutional commitment to the program, and foundation and corporate support will ensure that the many program offerings built into the basic Market program will continue to create opportunities for low-income residents so that Southeast Washington resident will not only enjoy fresh, locally produced foods, but participate in the rural and urban connection for education and enjoyment.
With the ongoing gentrification of low-income neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan Area, this goal becomes even more important, as helping people to overcome the many challenges of low-income is more a necessity than ever as many are forced out of their traditional communities to face a very different world. We value the faith that NE SARE placed in the Capital Area Food Bank in making a grant to us for the Anacostia Farmers Market and for the goals it strives to meet.
Areas needing additional study
The goal of the Food Bank has always been to turn over the operation of the Market, the recruitment of vendors and the overall ownership, to the community, eventually assuming an advisory and partnership role at most. To that end, we have established new ongoing partnerships with the community to begin the successful process of encouraging this outcome. Our project, Harvest for Health, includes as our primary partner Community Harvest, whose motto “Good Food For All” brings increased focus to the original aim of the Anacostia Farmers Market and to the Capital Area Food Bank’s ambition to see the Market become ever closer to the community it serves; those at risk of hunger in the Southeast neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River in the District of Columbia and the small-farmer community surrounding the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Bringing together low-income,urban consumers and local farmers for their reciprocal benefit, Harvest for Health will maximize community partner resources with the goal of a totally self-sustaining, independent Market within three years. With Community Harvest and their extensive community non-profit network as partners, augmented by Capital Area Food Bank programs, we will continue to expand access to farm-fresh foods in the historic Anacostia neighborhood of Southeast Washington, DC, providing nutrition education as part of Market offerings.
Goal 1: Residents of Wards 7 and 8 will have more access to fresh, local produce.
• Unite Anacostia Farmers Market with Community Harvest and other community organizations which will assume Market administration for continued self-sufficiency;
• Continue to recruit farmers, including minority farmers, who can bring a greater variety of produce selection to the Market;
• Expand the use of WIC(S)FMNP vouchers at market and explore methods to improve access to home-bound residents and seniors.
Goal 2: Create continuous atmosphere of nutrition education around the Anacostia Farmers Market, encouraging the community to maintain education about the relationship of food, nutrition and the environment as part of the long-range goal of an ultimately independent Market.
• Include an intentional educational segment in all market related activities;
• Create explicit and distinct educational curriculum for children, youth and adults regarding food, nutrition and the environment, including opportunities to experience firsthand an agricultural setting that will expose them to many aspects of how food is grown, as well as recipes to help people connect with new foods;
• Train community volunteer educators to lead healthy cooking and eating classes, paying attention to the environmental consequences of one’s daily choices.
Goal 3: Create entrepreneurial learning opportunities for young people and others as a major step to self-sufficiency.
• Expose young people to opportunities available through knowledge and awareness of food production, market activity and environmental issues.
• Create relationship with youth training programs;
• Ready youth for careers through sales and market responsibilities and other resume building skills.
Goal 4: Anacostia Farmers Market will be community operated within three years.
• Create a short-range and long-range transition plan regarding the management of the market, including increased visibility for greater marketing success;
• Identify a community-elected group of residents who are interested in and can become involved with the coordination of the market to serve on a Market Working Group to further explore and develop partnerships with currently engaged community groups;
• Train and mobilize community residents who can manage all aspects of the market.
With these and other plans underway for the 2005 Market Season, the Anacostia Farmers Market and its many community partners can look back on the legacy of our NE SARE Community Incentives grant award as a vital stage in the development of our plans and actions for the ultimate community-owned success of this resource for health in the Anacostia neighborhoods of Southeast Washington, DC. A resource in which the small farmers become full partners with the community in providing the farm-fresh products at the center of this project.