We live in a world where fresh food is a luxury. Many communities in the United States don’t have access to quality fruits and vegetables, especially for a good price. In Denver, the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (GES) residential area struggle with just that, as this community is home to one of the largest food deserts in the country. Since 2020, the Focus Points Family Resource Center has successfully made strides against this important issue with their pay-what-you-can farmers market, which is opening again this upcoming weekend on June 10.
The Huerta Urbana Farmers Market is Denver’s only farmers market that gives the local community the option to pay a reduced price for fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins and other goods. Consumers can pay over the asking price or as low as $0, allowing them to feel guilt-free about purchasing healthy local goods. Money raised from the market goes back to the farmers and vendors, while also covering grocery costs for community members in need. The market receives funding and donations that allow them to reimburse vendors to ensure needs are met across the board.
“Access to high-quality food is a major concern for many of the families living in the GES area,” Seynabou Sohai, Huerta Urbana program manager, said in a statement. “By moving the market into the heart of the community this year, we are ensuring that even those without reliable transportation will have access to fresh, healthy food every week.”
One of the biggest inspirations for the market is Focus Points’ newest enterprise, Huerta Urbana. This three-year program helps lower income immigrant and refugee communities strengthen their skills in managing or starting a farm business. Participants in the program are gaining experience firsthand by harvesting and preparing goods to sell at the market along with the other vendors. Huerta Urbana wants to emphasize the need for economic opportunity in the GES community while also providing them with fresh food long term.
The Huerta Urbana Farmers Market is located conveniently at the Focus Points campus in the GES neighborhood this year at 2501 E 48th Ave., allowing community members to access their groceries easily. The market is open every Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. until October 2022. With over 15 confirmed vendors, shoppers are sure to find what they are looking for without breaking the bank.
All photos courtesy of Huerta Urbana Farmers Market.