Heart of the City is Now Open Fridays:
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Holiday Market Closures
Heart of the City is a year-round rain or shine market and will remain open throughout the holidays. The only day we will close is the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 23. Other than that, we'll be open every Wednesday 7-5:30, Sunday 7-5, and Friday 7-2:30.
$94k USDA Grant Awarded to Heart of the City Farmers Market
‘Farmers Market Promotion Program' Grant
For 31 years Heart of the City Farmers Market has operated in San Francisco’s United Nations Plaza as an independent, farmer-operated non-profit market with a mission to bring a much-needed source of affordable fresh food to the Mid-Market and Tenderloin "food desert" that for more than three decades has been without an affordable supermarket within walking distance. Heart of the City’s mission is to keep costs low for small family farmers through subsidized stall fees, which helps keep produce prices lower for the low-income residents of the Mid-Market and Tenderloin neighborhood.
Due to the high rate of poverty in this community, over 80% of CalFresh/SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) used at San Francisco farmers markets to buy fresh produce are used at Heart of the City Farmers Market. “The amount of purchases made here with an EBT card has grown by 30% each year for the past three years,” said Kate Creps, Executive Director of Heart of the City Farmers Market. “For many in this neighborhood, using their food stamp benefits is the only way they can afford to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet. We know there are many who don’t know they can use their EBT card to shop here but with our limited resources, our ability to promote and staff this program has not been able to meet the rising need.”
The Department of Agriculture has pledged its support to help change that. $93,778 in federal funding for Heart of the City Farmers Market was announced on September 21, 2012, by Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan as part of the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program, which will provide over $9 million in grants in 2012 to organizations across 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for initiatives that bolster the connection between agricultural producers and their consumers while improving access to healthy food and strengthening local economies.
“This funding is so exciting for us, because to date this market has been 100% stall fee supported and each project we undertake must be paid for by our farmers, who are struggling to survive in this economy,” said Kate Creps. “Consequently our efforts have been limited to what we can do inexpensively with our tiny staff team. These funds will enable us to go above and beyond our current ability to outreach to and support this community.” Funds will be used to launch an awareness campaign to promote the use of CalFresh/SNAP benefits (food stamps) to purchase healthy foods at the farmers market and to offset start-up costs of a new year-round farmers market on Fridays to increase access to fresh food for local residents.
Farmers Market Promotion Program funds will enable Heart of the City Farmers Market:
To learn more, see our complete press release.
Interested in Learning More? Schedule a Market Tour or Workshop
We love getting to know our customers and giving them an insider's look at our unique, farmer-run, non-profit farmers market. Contact us at email@example.com to schedule a farmers market tour to learn more about our small farm families, what they grow, our history and efforts to make it affordable to eat healthy for San Francisco's poorest residents.
We also offer on-site workshops in the Tenderloin and surrounding neighborhoods through our "Healthy Heart of the City" campaign. Contact us for more information on scheduling an on-site workshop with our nutrition educators for your community organization. We also provide digital presentations on farming and eating locally that teachers can show in their classrooms. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In the News: Heart of the City Farmers Donate More Than 1,500 Pounds of Produce Each Day to Tenderloin's Poorest Residents
Heart of the City farmers have teamed up with Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation to donate produce for free distribution to those in the Tenderloin and Mid-Market neighborhoods who cannot afford to incorporate fresh produce into their diets even with the aid of Heart of the City Farmers Market's EBT program, which enables residents to purchase food from farmers with food stamps. Volunteers from TNDC collect produce donated by farmers at the end of each Wednesday market day and distribute it free to residents at a Free Produce Store in the heart of the Tenderloin. Over 1,300 pounds of produce is donated each day by farmers. On Sundays, Project Open Hand collects produce that they use to deliver healthy meals to residents with mobility challenges. To listen to KGO Radio's spotlight on this effort, click here.
Heart of the City Farmers Market is a non-profit with a mission not only to support small-scale farming, but also make fresh produce accessible to everyone and help to create a Healthy Heart of the City.
Other “Healthy Heart of the City” Efforts by Farmers
Our farmers market is dedicated to nutrition education outreach. Last fall we did 5 workshops in after-school programs and affordable supportive housing buildings (partnering with TNDC, Glide, and the Boys and Girls Club) to teach about produce, farms, and healthy choices, then took participants on tours of the market to meet the farmers in person. We call these our "Healthy Heart of the City Workshops" and have plans for six more this fall. We partner closely with Department of Public Health’s Feeling Good Project to offer nutrition education activities for the community and the Office of Women's Health and Chinatown Public Health Center to offer free health resources during market days. Our farmer-run Board has donated over $50,000 to local non-profit organizations since the market was founded.
In the News: "Healthy Heart of the City Campaign" Featured in the Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle, August 3: "Heart of the City Farmers' Market, held in the U.N. Plaza near San Francisco's City Hall every Wednesday and Sunday, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is marking the occasion with a series of workshops and market tours designed for children from the adjacent Tenderloin and Civic Center areas.
"Operations Manager Kate Creps said the market has always aimed to serve its community by keeping stall fees for farmers as low as possible - resulting in reasonably priced produce for customers. "We fit into this food vacuum, and we're trying to strengthen our ties with the community and do more outreach," Creps said. "It's a win-win situation." Read more here: http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-08-03/bay-area/29845097_1_city-farmers-market-walnuts-food-deserts
In the News: "The Super Market" Heart of the City Turns 30
Heart of the City Farmers' Market's 30-year history was featured in the July issue of the Central City Extra. "Heart of the City Farmers Market will champion its 30 years at U.N. Plaza at its 30th Anniversary Festival on September 14, having successfully connected local farmers to the city's famously low-income central city residents while continuing to move toward a healthier San Francisco. The food nation innovation, announced on circulated flyers in five languages, began Sunday June 14, 1981. Trucks laden with fresh produce, and hailing from Sebastopol to Winters to Fresno, rumbled onto the red brick plaza at daybreak..." Click here to read more: http://www.studycenter.org/test/cce/index.html
Meet our featured farmers and vendors. To see previously-featured farmers, click here:
Mellow's Nursery and Farm
Tony Mellow's family has been farming in the Silicon Valley for four generations, since the 1800s. His grandparents started the first of the family farms, growing apricots, prunes, and pears for the local canneries. His father continued the tradition, adding farms spread across the San Francisco Bay area to grow walnuts and fruit for local canneries and prune dehydrators. Tony always knew he wanted to be a farmer and has been farming since he was 12. In 1966, he started growing pumpkins and miscellaneous vegetables and by 1977 he owned his own ranch in Morgan Hill. He went to the Garden City Farmers' Market in San Jose when it opened. "That was the first of the local farmers' markets, before farmers markets got big" he remembers. Today, he has built his business around farmers markets and says they are the only way small and medium sized farms will survive in an urban area. He has been selling at Heart of the City Farmers Market since the very first day and remembers the huge crowd of people who were lined up before dawn on opening day. There was nowhere else to buy produce if you lived in this neighborhood in 1981, and today is much the same. A painting of Tony selling his goods is incorporated in a mural on Taylor street, which was created as a celebration of neighborhood pride. After 30 years selling here, Tony and his produce are an important part of this neighborhood. It's obvious he loves what he does. Tony is also a very important part of this market, he is a dedicated volunteer on our Board of Directors and is currently serving as Board Treasurer. He helped start the discussion of a Friday market day with the Board that has grown into our August 3 Friday Market grand opening.
Heart of the City Farmers' Market also includes delicious prepared and hot food vendors. Come enjoy lunch outdoors at our tables or pick a fresh, healthy selection to bring back to the office on Wednesdays! Click here to see our Lunch Menu. Prices are subject to change.
Art of the Falafel (Wednesdays)
All Star Tamales (Wednesdays)
Cater Thyme (Wednesdays)
The Crepe Escape (Wednesdays and Sundays)
Edith's Gourmet Baking Co. (Wednesdays, Sundays, and Fridays)
Estrellita's Snacks (Wednesdays and Sundays)
Gold Rush Kettle Corn (Wednesdays, Sundays, and Fridays)
Go To Chocolate (Wednesdays)
Home Maid Italian Market (Wednesdays and Sundays)
The Hummus Guy (Wednesdays and Sundays)
Koz's Kitchen (Wednesdays and Sundays)
Onigilly (Wednesdays and Sundays)
Quick-N-Ezee: Sukhi’s Gourmet Indian Cuisine (Wednesdays and Sundays)
Sinto Gourmet (Wednesdays and Sundays)
Ultimate Souvlaki (Wednesdays and Some Sundays)