Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If the Mountain won't come to Muhammed...

Mustard Greens photoJHM ©10

I read in our local paper that the Lower 9th Ward's Sankofa Community Development Corporation announced the opening on November 20th,2011 of their Sankofa Farmers Market!  I strongly encourage people to support their effort since in the Lower 9th ward Community there is no supermarket & the pioneers who have come back to re-establish their homes in this community have to travel great distances for simple things we take for granted.

I see an irony for me as I am fortunate in the sense that I can leave my home & in 5-7 minutes can access 5 supermarkets and in 10 minutes the local Wal-Mart and yet 20 minutes away the residents of this community have to travel great distances for the aforementioned markets.

So as the adage goes: "If the mountain won't come to Muhammed, then Muhammed must go to the mountain".  I say way to go to this group in still yet another venture forth by creating this farmers market so the Lower Ninth Ward + their neighbors, Bywater, Arabi,Upper 9th Ward, St. Bernard Parish,Fabourg Marigny, & Treme + others could access fresh produce and other products locally grown.

I personally plan to support them with my dollars and volunteer in whatever way I can,some of which will mean traveling past the supermarkets I have easy access to and going downtown to do my part.

Kohl Rabi photo JHM ©10

About Sankofa Farmers Market: 

The Sankofa Farmers Market was developed in response to the requests of community members for access to fresh vegetables and fruits for sale at the market. You have asked for a farmers market where you can have direct access to home grown produce. The farmers market will operate every Saturday and will offer seasonal, nutritious produce and locally caught seafood. We will accept the EBT/SNAP benefit card, credit cards, debit cards, and cash. We hope to build a viable market for both vending and shopping to thrive with healthy nutritious food. 

This farmers market will be a year round outlet for local farmers and fishermen to vend their goods in accordance with state and national goals, as well as to provide a social outlet and neighborhood meeting place for families and seniors. We are working in peer partnership with marketumbrella.orgfor consultation with technical information, regular evaluation, and the appropriate market management trainings. We believe that adding EBT access, along with a strong marketing campaign and weekly retail outlet presence, will accomplish the following: increase fresh food accessibility to low-income customers, increase sales for our farmers and fishermen, increase economic and community development in the Lower Ninth Ward. 

The Sankofa Farmers Market will be the 2nd farmers market in the city to have EBT access. This market will also be the only farmers market, not only in the Lower Ninth Ward, but also in communities adjacent  to the neighborhoods, including the Upper Ninth Ward, Gentilly, Arabi and St. Bernard Parish.

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