Farmers markets bring healthy food options to Americans in big cities, small towns and every place in between. Families, farmers and vendors all benefit from farmers markets' role in promoting access to fresh produce and addressing the social determinants of healthy living. Farmers markets also can be a fun weekend tradition that brings family, friends and neighbors together through education, entertainment and community engagement.
Local park and recreation agencies play a critical role in bringing farmers markets to their communities, with their parks and facilities being a frequent home of these events. As a trusted provider of health and wellness opportunities—from a place for physical activities to classes on healthy cooking—parks and recreation is a natural home for farmers markets.
Farmers Markets—Parks and Recreation Connecting Communities to Healthy Foods explores the role park and recreation agencies play in bringing farmers markets to their communities. This report explores markets’ product and services offerings—spanning from fresh produce and protein to entertainment and educational programming, as well as the organizations that agencies partner with to make their markets successful and the challenges they must overcome.
Key Report Findings
- 24 percent of park and recreation farmers markets operate throughout the year
- Four in five agencies work with partners to make their farmers markets successful
- Common farmers market offerings include fresh fruit/vegetables, baked goods and organic foods
- Two-thirds of park and recreation farmers markets accept supplemental nutrition benefit payments (e.g., SNAP)
The benefits of farmers markets are substantial, and park and recreation agencies are ideal partners in these efforts. To this end, the report concludes with next steps for agencies considering starting or expanding agriculture opportunities in their communities.
Read the Report