By Paul Towers
The Sacramento neighborhood of Oak Park is getting its first farmer’s market, highlighting the need for healthy food in one of the region’s most underserved neighborhoods.
“Healthy food produces healthy communities,” said Joany Titherington, coordinator of the Oak Park Farmer’s Market. “We honor the spirit of Earth Day by ensuring that Sacramento residents nourish themselves and the planet through local and healthy food.”
The statistics in Sacramento County are overwhelming. Less than half of the County’s children eat the appropriate amount of fruit and vegetables each day and more than 30 percent of the county’s children are considered overweight. These problems are magnified in Oak Park by the lack of access to fresh and healthy food, and the preponderance of access to unhealthy food.
As a result of these concerns, community leaders are launching the Oak Park Farmer’s Market to provide weekly local access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The Farmers Market will be held on Saturday mornings, beginning May 15, at 34th and Broadway, across from Old Soul Coffeehouse. The Farmers Market is a project of NeighborWorks® Sacramento, developed in partnership with community residents.
In addition, in the past few months, community garden advocates, backyard growers, and fresh produce sellers have loosely formed the Oak Park Food Collaborative. The group intends to make Oak Park, often characterized as a dangerous neighborhood, the sustainable food center of the Sacramento Region.