a time of rapid change in the way we think about food--in our bodies,
in our homes, and in our communities—it’s important to ensure
that the new emphasis on organic, local, healthy,
community-controlled food systems does not bypass low-income,
racially diverse communities. To address these issues, residents of
Dorchester, Boston’s largest and most diverse neighborhood, have
been joining hands to build a permanent consumer and worker owned
cooperative market and food hub. The Dorchester
Winter Farmers’ Market will
be our first project!
The Winter Farmers' Market will provide area-wide access to farm fresh produce during the winter months. Residents of our culturally-rich area, which is composed of Vietnamese, Haitian, Jamaican, Cape Verdean, Hispanic, African-American, Irish, and other populations, still lack access to quality produce for most of the year. Rates of obesity and diabetes are soaring, poverty is widespread, and a significant portion of our population faces severe food insecurity.
The Winter Farmers’ Market will operate in a central Dorchester location on Sunday afternoons from January through March, and will bring together local farmers selling winter produce with other vendors selling locally made products such as bread, cheese, meats, etc. We will be including products that are culturally appropriate for the diverse population of Dorchester and the surrounding area. The market will accept EBT cards (food stamps) and double the buying power of low-income residents up to $20 through the city’s Bounty Bucksprogram. We are inviting local neighborhood groups working on food and health issues to participate in the market, and local musicians to provide entertainment. The goal is to create a public space that brings together residents from all backgrounds to celebrate healthy food. Not only will this be Dorchester’s first and only winter farmers’ market, it will also be the only winter farmers’ market in the entire city of Boston, and we think that’s pretty special. The grand opening is currently scheduled for Sunday, January 8th but we need your help to open the doors!
Your donations are an investment in community. By giving small amounts to this project, you can have a big impact on the well-being of the people of Dorchester and of Boston.
Thanks for your generosity,
The Dorchester Winter Farmers' Market Team.
Wait, I’m lost. What is a farmers’ market?:
A farmers' market is a public market that connects local farmers directly to consumers. The success of farmers’ markets lie in their “triple bottom line”: the farmers benefit by cutting out the middle man and selling directly to the community; the individual consumer benefits by gaining access to fresher produce; and the community as a whole benefits by bringing different people together with an interest in healthy food.
What is Bounty Bucks?
Good question! The Bounty Bucks program is a program sponsored partly by the City of Boston that doubles the spending power for users of SNAP/ EBT (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps) benefits at farmer’s markets. For example, if a shopper buys up to $20 worth of produce, Bounty Bucks will pay for half. The Bounty Bucks Program has been hugely successful since it was implemented in 2007. In addition to support for running the Winter Farmers’ Market, your contribution to the Kickstarter campaign will help provide funds for the Bounty Bucks program.
Aren't there already farmers' markets in Dorchester?
Yes! Summer farmers' markets are currently being held in seven commercial districts in Dorchester. These markets typically run June through October. The summer markets are growing in popularity, and are increasingly attracting a cross section of the population. The ability of the farmers' markets to accept EBT cards and to participate in the Bounty Bucks program has helped achieve a steady increase in usage by Dorchester’s low-income population. Much work still needs to be done, however, to overcome the perception that the fresh produce in the farmers markets is more expensive than the lower quality and less nutritious items available in corner stores. (A study by The Food Project demonstrated that “purchasing the recommended daily amount of produce in a farmers market instead of neighborhood market over the 16-week summer season would increase the purchase by just under $8 over 4 months!”)
Creating a single Farmers' Market during the winter months will allow us to continue the educational work around the advantages and cost effectiveness of buying farm fresh produce. The Winter Market will also begin to bring together the different neighborhood groups working on the summer markets into a more cohesive network that addresses food access and food justice issues.
What's a Food Co-op? When will there be a Food Co-op? Where can I learn more?:
A Food Co-op is a community owned grocery store. This means that instead of a grocery store being owned by a private person or a corporation, residents of the community and workers in the store will be able to buy an equity share of the co-op. As a shareholder, the member-owners will be able to run for the board and vote on other store issues. In many Food Co-ops throughout the country, member-owners are eligible for discounts as well as a rebate at the end of the year.
We are building a cooperative grocery store in Dorchester in order to create an opportunity for the mixed income residents of our community to have an ownership stake in a social enterprise that is committed to improving the health, economic well being and sustainability of the entire community. We are building an innovative store that provides food as well as other needed services. The Dorchester Community Food Co-op will serve as a community anchor in a neighborhood with no large grocery store and little commercial development, and plans to develop a “food hub” model to expand the geographical reach of the Co-op and strengthen the growing network of healthy food providers. Join us!
To learn more about the Dorchester Community Food Co-op please visitdotcommcoop.wordpress.com or email us at email@example.com
- (55 days)