live / 2020

LA Farmers' Market Coalition

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Sprouts of Promise Foundation

We would like to establish a Los Angeles Farmers' Market Coalition. This Coalition will unite farmers' markets across LA, both affluent markets and those serving in food deserts, facilitating the sharing of information and resources. Markets will unite to address challenges to food access, such as COVID-19. To create social media campaigns and share program ideas. In times of need, markets will respond to issues affecting consumers, farmers and markets with one voice and will connect with Neighborhood Councils for greater community integration.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

  • Center for Community Food & Resilience at Occidental College
  • barrio.la.

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

Center for Community Food & Resilience at Occidental College will co-facilitate quarterly LA Farmers’ Market Coalition meetings. They will also provide research support to help establish best-practices for addressing the needs of food deserts. Additionally, they will provide grant-writing support for individual farmers’ markets looking to expand their programming.

barrio.la will co-facilitate quarterly LA Farmers’ Market Coalition meetings. They will provide technical support for farmers’ markets, helping markets establish social media accounts, generating shareable social media content, and will advise as LA markets create unified talking points and strategies.

What is the need you’re responding to?

During the COVID-19 pandemic Governor Newsom listed farmers’ markets as essential public services and called on markets to remain open. Despite this, many markets across Los Angeles were forced, by landlords and local municipalities, to shut down. While markets in affluent ares had the resources to fight to remain open, many in low-income neighborhoods and food deserts were forced to close. Hundreds of Angelenos have been forced during this health crisis to choose between risking travel on public transportation, or foregoing fruits and vegetables. Had these markets remained open, this would not have been the case.

There is no coalition, connecting farmers’ markets, facilitating collaboration, or generating sharable content. Dozens of markets are working independently toward the same goals, efforts are being wasted and vulnerable populations remain underserved. Similarly, markets are unconnected to their Neighborhood Councils, who’s work markets should champion and benefit from.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Sprouts of Promise advocates for farmers’ markets and works to connect underserved populations with healthy food. During the COVID-19 crisis, Sprouts of Promise initiated email collaboration between farmers’ market managers across the region advocating on behalf of markets, and created social media content that was widely shared. Through these efforts, Sprouts of Promise connected with many market managers in Los Angeles, becoming aware of their struggles and well positioned to facilitate an LA Farmers’ Market Coalition.

Executive Director, Mark Anderson is a former small farmer and current operator of farmers’ markets for the past ten years. He served on the State of California’s Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Agriculture for over 6 years.

Community Development Manager, Aubrey Yarbrough, sits on a sub-committee of the North Westwood Neighborhood Council (NWWNC) and is well positioned to promote integration between markets and Neighborhood Councils.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

300
Direct impact
10,000
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Across Los Angeles, and especially in low-income food deserts, communities will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables without (non weather-related) market closures. These communities will have greater access to government benefits such as Cal Fresh EBT and they will enjoy the health benefits of regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Due to their market’s increased participation in local Neighborhood Councils, these community members will benefit from locally funded programs like community compost hubs.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

  • 90% coalition participation by farmers’ market within LA County
  • Creation of an annual LA Farmers’ Market Week in Spring
  • 50%+ participation of Neighborhood Councils during Farmers’ Market Week
  • LA Farmers’ Market Week would be schedule near the beginning of election time for Neighborhood Councils
  • Increase voting for participating Neighborhood Council Election by 300%
  • Non-interrupted operation of Certified Farmers’ Market (outside of weather)
  • Increase of sales at Food Dessert Farmers’ Markets by 25%
  • 30%+ increase in attendance at all markets during farmers’ market week

Our vision is to leverage the amazing farmers’ market community in LA County to keep local food accessible at all times and especially in food desserts. By uniting and partnering with local Neighborhood Councils we can expand farmers’ markets social safety networks while simultaneously expanding the reach of Neighborhood Councils.

Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Access to healthy food
  • Food insecurity

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation