The North City Farmers’ Market in St. Louis is in a neighborhood where the majority of its residents are African American. It’s been a challenge, however, to attract more of them to the market every week.
Community organizers are attempting to change that. Their idea is to feature African American musicians with the hope that shoppers will follow.
Held on the 2700 block of North 14th Street every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the North City Farmers' Market will take place through October 12.
A view of the Lincoln Square Farmers' Market in Chicago in 2011. The Thursday Evening version of the market, along with numerous others in Illinois, will begin to offer the option of electronic payment under a new federal grant.
Brian Mackey of Illinois Public Radio reported for this story.
The number of Illinois farmers' markets that accept electronic payment is expected to double under a new federal grant. The program pays for machines that can swipe credit, debit and Link cards -- the modern version of food stamps.
Josh Dotson's family has been selling produce at farmers' markets for decades.
Dotson sells at markets that already accept Link cards, and he says it's brought new customers.
The City of St. Louis has unveiled its plan to renovate the Soulard Market and Park.
Physical improvements would include completely enclosing the market, expanding parking options and adding signage that distinguishes venders that are selling locally grown food from vendors that are reselling produce or other food items.
The farmers market would be open all weekend, too.
Citing a survey indicating strong customer demand, the market would shift from being open Wednesday through Saturday to Thursday through Sunday.
Starting next month, passengers who ride MetroLink or Metro buses will be be able to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables at certain transit centers.
The mass transit agency is partnering with the Sappington Farmers Market community program, Mobile Market, to sell locally-grown farm foods in areas where nearby residents have little or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
St. Louis County is considering changing farmers’ markets ordinances to make it easier for food venders to do business. Instead of a $35 permit which lasts two weeks, the new permits would last seven-months, and cost $75.
St. Louis County Health Department Director Dolores Gunn says the seven-month length – as opposed to a year – is intended to prevent abuses of the system.