Now in in its third year, WakeMed’s annual Farmers Market returns to the Raleigh Campus bringing with it a wide selection of fresh, locally-grown produce, cooking demonstrations, health education, crafts, and more.
More importantly, the Farmer’s Market operates under a ‘for the community, by the community’ mentality, serving as a way to bring together members of the local community while encouraging an overall, healthier lifestyle.
History of the WakeMed Farmers Market
Founded in June 2014 and now co-managed by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle – the WakeMed Farmers Market aims to make fresh food more accessible to Southeast Raleigh residents – something worth noting as Southeast Raleigh is one of more than 340 designated “food deserts” in the North Carolina.
What is a Food Desert?
A Food Desert is a low-income area where a significant number of residents live more than 1 mile from a supermarket in urban areas and more than 10 miles from a supermarket in rural areas.
The Healthy Food Resources in North Carolina report (January 2014) describes individuals living in food deserts as having “…no opportunity or way to purchase healthy foods within their immediate community.” Thus, these residents are forced to travel elsewhere in order to feed their families a healthy diet, which can be a problem if they don’t have the transportation means to get to a grocery store.
Furthermore, studies show that this lack of access contributes to a poor diet and can lead to higher levels of obesity and other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Partnering to Solve a Problem
At WakeMed, we are committed to improving the health and well-being of our community. Our Farmers Market helps address the issue of food scarcity by knocking down several barriers.
Located in the heart of a designated Food Desert, the WakeMed Raleigh Campus is in an ideal position, geographically, to serve local residents.
With the help of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, the WakeMed Farmers Market accepts EBT cards as well as debit and credit cards. We also offer 2 for 1 Market Match vouchers (while funding lasts) for those who are receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The Market Match program makes it easier for local families to eat healthier, in collaboration with area farmers’ markets.
Unlike most farmers’ markets, the WakeMed Farmers Market does not charge vendors a fee. We also provide all of the setup, breakdown, and electrical equipment – making it easier for local vendors to participate.
About the WakeMed Farmers Market
The WakeMed Farmers Market is hosted in the hospital’s outdoor courtyard of the WakeMed Raleigh Campus every Tuesday from 10 am until 2 pm, beginning May 17th through August 23rd. In the event of inclement weather, the Farmers Market is moved indoors. Free parking is available in the P1 parking deck for WakeMed Farmers Market patrons.
WakeMed also hosts a small Farm Stand at our Cary Hospital once a month throughout the summer.
Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of this year’s vendors, so stay tuned!
For more information about the WakeMed Farmers Market, visit wakemed.org/farmersmarket.