Imagine a community where everyone has access to healthy, delicious, locally grown vegetables and fruit, where farmers can do what they love and earn a living to support themselves and their families, and where farm land is plentiful and affordable.
At Farmshare Austin, this is our mission - to grow a healthy local food community by teaching new farmers, increasing food access and preserving farmland. And, it all comes together in our Fresh for Less Mobile Markets, a collaborative effort with the City of Austin to bring produce from our farm and other local and Texas farms, local eggs and honey, and high quality organic grocery items to neighborhoods experiencing economic and geographic barriers to good food.
What began as a pilot program in the fall of 2016 has grown to 10 markets this fall and will continue to grow to 14 markets in spring of 2020. Last year, more than 20% of Mobile Market sales were made using SNAP benefits and Double Dollars, an incentive for SNAP customers to double their produce purchasing power.
We work with community partners who serve as site hosts for our markets. These hosts include community health centers, YMCAs, schools in Austin and Del Valle, a faith community, and more.
Did you know that more than 50% of the veggies and fruit sold at the markets are harvested from Farmshare’s certified organic farm and are grown by our farm team and our Farmer Starters learning to farm?
Meet Rosa Figueroa. She is a loyal customer at Farmshare’s Mobile Market at Central Health’s Southeast Health and Wellness Center (SEHWC). Rosa has been a patient at SEHWC since it opened and a Mobile Market customer there since the market launched in fall of 2017. Each week, she fills her bags with fresh, seasonal produce, using her SNAP benefits and Double Up Food Bucks. Shopping at the markets has made a difference for not only her food budget, but also her health.
I try to arrange my appointments at the clinic for during the Mobile Market. Sometimes I come just for the vegetables. The market has helped me so much with my health and my diabetes. Before, I took insulin, and now I don’t have to. Sometimes the girl who works the market teases me to make sure I leave some of the vegetables for everyone else! – Rosa Figueroa