The market is opening in partnership with Orlando City SC, home of the Lions in Major League Soccer and Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League, at Orlando City Stadium in Parramore. “The Orlando City Foundation is delighted to support the Parramore Farmers Market and Commissioner Hill’s efforts in bringing healthy food to our community,” added Kay Rawlins, Orlando City SC founder and VP of community relations. “We teach healthy lifestyle choices in our programs and this helps us reinforce those messages.” Funding for the market comes from a $250,000 grant the city received in October 2016 from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service Farmer’s Market Promotion Program.
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“I’m proud to bring this market to our neighborhoods in need,” said District 5 City Commissioner Regina I. Hill. “Bringing healthy food to District 5 residents has been a priority since I first entered office. Sourcing food in the neighborhood, for the neighborhood, will empower community residents and serve to increase food security for those who live in District 5.”
In addition to the creation of the new market, the grant funding will also help implement several other initiatives that will provide access to quality, fresh and healthy food in West Orlando neighborhoods that have been deemed “food deserts.” “These initiatives will help support our continued efforts to transform our urban environment and make our city more livable and sustainable,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Local food production through this program will not only further our sustainability goals, but also help us to expand food access in neighborhoods that need it most.”
This Saturday, the City of Orlando will launch a new weekly Farmers Market in Parramore. The market will run every Saturday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and will serve as a vital component of the city’s efforts to increase access to local and healthy food options in West Orlando. In addition to featuring foods locally grown in the area, the market will include 30 vendors and accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits where patrons may use their EBT cards to receive tokens to spend in the market.
The market will also help in giving residents the opportunity to start or grow their own businesses by encouraging entrepreneurship. One of the unique vendors, Black Bee Honey, is a startup business run by Parramore Kidz Zone youth, helping them gain skills needed to be future entrepreneurs running successful businesses.