The grant will fund the creation of 10-15 “farmlettes” in resident front yards and the nutrition and food education of locals by Hebni Nutrition
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 increase access to local and healthy food options in West Orlando. The market is located on the east side of the Orlando City Stadium, across from City View. The stadium is located at 655 W. Church Street, Orlando, FL 32805.
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.
One featured vendor is a group of high school and college students selling honey.
Funding for the market comes from a $250,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Farmer’s Market Promotion Program (FMPP) to increase access to local and healthy food options in West Orlando.
The City of Orlando was one of only three projects in Florida to receive funding. The grant will fund two other initiatives in addition to creating new jobs for neighborhood residents. The grant initiatives include:
Creating 10-15 “farmlettes” in resident front yards, creating a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program based on the Fleet Farming model
Teaching neighborhood residents about nutrition and healthy cooking in partnership with Hebni Nutrition
What is a Farmlette? According to the Fleet Farming website, "A farmlette is a prior lawn that is converted into a food-producing plot at least 500 square feet in size, consisting of row crops grown directly in the ground. Farmlettes are home to a wide variety of veggies, but the main crops grown are an assortment of baby greens, from Siberian Kale to Bibb lettuce, which comprise the Fleet Green salad mixes. Wherever there is grass, sun and water, be it residential or commercial yards, there is a future farmlette!"“This grant will help support our continued efforts to transform our urban environment and make our City more liveable 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.”
Much of West Orlando is a food desert, meaning residents do not have access to healthy food options within a mile of their neighborhoods. Bringing a Farmer’s Market and locally sourced food to West Orlando will help provide families with nutritious options and educational opportunities that will help to improve their quality of life.
“I’m proud to bring this project to our neighborhoods in need,” said District 5 City Commissioner Regina 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.”
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service awarded a total of 50 Farmer’s Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grants totaling more than $13.4 million to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products. FMPP grants support direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands and agritourism.