A Pay-How-You-Can Farmers Market is Coming to Denver

Three local companies are teaming up to create a ‘pay-how-you-can’ weekly farmers market to the Globeville Elyria-Swansea (GES) community through the summer and fall season. 

Beginning Wednesday, July 1, Lost City, Focus Points Family Resource Center and East Denver Food Hub will start the new Lost City Market. Every Wednesday through October, the market will be held at the TAXI complex from 5-8 p.m.

GES is a neighborhood in East Denver and one of the major food deserts in the city. This means, that high-quality and affordable fresh food is very limited. In an effort to address the issue, Lost City and Focus Points teamed up with other organizations with similar goals. 

Photo courtesy of Lost City on Facebook.

Earlier in the year, they launched the Denver Metro Emergency Food Network (DMEFN). The lack of affordable and fresh food has only been intensified due to the pandemic and the issue has continued to get worse.  Together, the organizations have delivered more than 250,000 free meals to individuals in need. The creation of the Lost City Market is an extension of their commitment to supporting communities in need, during a time of uncertainty. 

“After seeing the tremendous impact of DMEFN, we wanted to find another way to address the growing need for affordable, healthy food that also supports local farms and small businesses,” Lost City owner Michael Graham said. “Lost City Market will allow attendees to purchase delicious food from local farmers and vendors in a fun and safe environment while remaining accessible to all members of the community.” 

The new market will feature independent local vendors. In addition to proteins, fruits and vegetables that come from local farms. Some confirmed vendors include Comal Heritage Food Incubator, East Denver Food Hub, Rebel Farm, Mile High Micro Greens and more. 

The ‘pay-how-you-can’ model will be offered in three variations. Customers can pay a suggested price for their groceries, pay what they can afford, whether it is a few dollars or nothing, or pay for their groceries by volunteering at future market events. 

Photo by Lucy Beaugard.

This is made possible by an established fund that will cover up to $2,000 worth of weekly produce for those in need and the commitments of partner organizations and the State of Colorado. 

The funds that are collected through the Lost City Market will reimburse the farmers and producers that make the ‘pay-how-you-can’ model possible. 

“At Focus Points, we look to adapt to meet the changing needs of our community and as we continue to deal with and begin to recover from the COVID crisis, access to fresh, high-quality food is a major concern for many of the families that we serve,” Jules Kelty, Focus Points Executive Director said.

Since we are still living in a pandemic, Lost City Market will take strict precautions to ensure the safety of all involved staff, volunteers and customers in the greater Denver community. The market says face masks are required and a configuration allowing social distancing will be set up. 

All vendors will have touchless payment methods, which means credit and debit cards are encouraged. At this time, all food will be to-go only. No sampling or eating inside the market. 

For those who cannot attend but are interested in supporting the fund can donate to the market through Focus Points’ online donation portal

Farms and other vendors interested in participating at the market can fill out the Vendor Request Form or send an email to [email protected].

For more information on the new partnership and Lost City Market details, visit their website