City of Pittsburgh celebrating National Farmers Market Week
August 7, 2018
The City of Pittsburgh is joining cities across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August this week.
Pittsburgh has had continuous, weekly farmers markets since 1942 when the Farmers Market Cooperative of East Liberty first purchased their building and created a co-op to bring fresh food into the city. Currently, Pittsburgh is home to 25 markets, with hundreds of regional farmers and vendors selling a wide variety of local products, including fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, bread, coffee, tea, milk, sauces, pickles and marinades, hummus, pasta, and more.
As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. According to statistics recently released by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.
“We realize that to be a resilient city, we must have a sustainable local food system. Farmers markets are central to creating the urban-rural connections that are key to that system,” said Mayor William Peduto. “Farmers Markets support Southwestern PA’s small farms, circulate money back into our local economy, while increasing access to healthy foods for our residents. We’re fortunate to have such a strong farmers market network in the Pittsburgh area.”
Farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents of every food dollar that consumers spend at traditional food outlets. At a farmers’ market, 100 percent of each food dollar goes to the local farmer.
“Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming a healthy, prosperous food system,” says Jen Cheek, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier. “
All farmers’ markets accept food stamps (SNAP), credit and debit cards as part of Just Harvest’s Fresh Access program. For every $5 spent in food stamps, receive an extra $2 to spend on produce.
For a directory of all the farmers’ markets that serve the residents of Pittsburgh, with dates, time, and details for each of the markets, please check out https://farmspread.com/pittsburgh-area/