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West Sacramento Sun

Food Access in West Sac Improves with Mobile Farmers Market

Jun 04, 2024 09:14AM ● By Center for Land-Based Learning News Release

Food-insecure neighborhoods in West Sacramento will have access to a mobile farmer’s market starting May 28. Photo courtesy of Land-Based Learning


WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Center for Land-Based Learning will provide food-insecure neighborhoods in West Sacramento with fresh, locally grown produce this year. The mobile market, which makes five stops throughout the city, operates Tuesdays and Thursdays through October.  The fourth Mobile Farmers Market season started on May 28.

Nearly one in three Yolo County residents is unable to regularly access healthy food, according to the Center for Land-Based Learning. In fact, this year, Yolo County will have the highest rate of food insecurity in all of California, according to recent reporting from the region’s food banks. Reasons vary, but the problem is largely due to a lack of transportation and a lack of grocery stores in many communities.

The Mobile Farmers Market seeks to address the problem by delivering local, seasonal produce to ethnically diverse, low-income neighborhoods. To better serve these communities, the market accepts SNAP CalFresh benefits and extends a 50-percent discount to SNAP cardholders through the state’s Market Match program.

“When you connect people with where their food comes from, a community can work together to build a more equitable, accessible, and resilient food system,” said Susie Sutphin, Community Food Program manager at the Center for Land-Based Learning, which operates the market.

With its focus on sustainable farming, the program also provides opportunities for small and beginning farmers to sell their products. One-hundred percent of the produce on the mobile market is locally grown and sourced from urban farms in West Sacramento, Center for Land-Based Learning’s Beginning Farmer Training Program and other family farms within 100 miles of Yolo County.

Mobile Farmers Market Land-Based Learning

 Mobile Farmers Market season will provide many people with fresh produce. Photo courtesy of Land-Based Learning


“We know that farming has an impact on our lives because we all eat. But we don’t always stop to appreciate the many ways farming is interconnected with our communities,” Sutphin said. “Our local farms are part of the ecosystem. Our local farmers grow the foods that are most culturally relevant to the community. They contribute to our economy. And the farmers themselves are our residents, who are trying to make a living and a difference. It’s vital that we support them.”

The market is made possible by a network of community partners, such as the Health Education Council, which provides translators to assist Afghan, Russian, and Spanish-speaking customers; and CommuniCare+OLE’s Produce Rx program, which provides its diabetic patients with produce “prescription” vouchers that can be redeemed for fruits and vegetables. The Mobile Farmers Market is sponsored in West Sacramento by Wells Fargo, the City of West Sacramento and Fulcrum Properties.

The mobile market has become a cornerstone initiative of the Center for Land-Based Learning, a statewide nonprofit headquartered in Woodland. After three successful years in West Sacramento, Center for Land-Based Learning is now expanding its mobile concept to Woodland, Esparto and Knights Landing. A celebratory ribbon cutting will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5 at the Yolo County CalFresh office located at 25 N. Cottonwood St. in Woodland. The market will be open to shoppers following the ceremony.

“We are looking forward to hitting the road, and we hope the community will remember to shop at the Mobile Farmers Market for super-local produce like eggplant, tomatoes and herbs,” Sutphin said.

On Tuesdays in West Sacramento, the truck will be at Margaret McDowell Manor from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then Washington Courtyard Apartments from 2:30 to 4 p.m. On Thursdays, the truck will be at Bryte Park from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and at West Capitol Courtyard Apartments from 1 to 2 p.m. The mobile market truck is in The Bridge District outside Franquette from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Sundays.

For the complete market schedule, visit followthetomato.org or @followthetomato on Instagram and Facebook.

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