Victory for Oak Cliff Farmers Market

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With changes made at the city level, an Oak Cliff-based organization can move forward with its monthly farmer’s market with a greater expectation of vendor participation.

The leaders at For Oak Cliff said it’s a victory in an area historically known for lack of access to fresh food within a reasonable driving distance.

Julianna Bradley YeeFoon said she wasn’t sure the day would come; an opportunity to stand before city leaders and make the case for a farmers market in South Oak Cliff.

“I have the privilege of being able to get in my car and drive eight or nine miles to a grocery store the find I like to eat and feed my family,” she said to the council.

She said that privilege is not the case for many people in South Oak Cliff where she works.

So, For Oak Cliff, an organization based in an area with limited access to quality fresh food started its own monthly farmer’s market.

This week the city moved to grant For Oak Cliff vendors farmers-market permits. This means vendors can participate at a $100 flat fee, instead of a $250 fee per event.

City rules previously prevented farmer's markets in residential neighborhoods like the one surrounding For Oak Cliff. Now, a waiver has been granted for the neighborhood market, so long as there’s no negative impact on the surrounding area and the people who live there.

“So now when they come out and they sell their produce and their food,” said YeeFoon. “They’re actually able to make a profit and grow the enterprise they’re building through our farmers market.”

YeeFoon said the farmers market is a game-changer with far-reaching impacts on preventable diseases.

“So, this is actually a really critical effort to mitigate that as well as mitigate the food desert crisis in our community,” she said.

For Oak Cliff Cofounder Taylor Toynes said it’s another step in the right direction.

“I think it’s a time for us to have some gratitude, and a time for us to lean into what this work is after this,” he said.

Already they’ve noticed growth and impact. YeeFoon said the best is yet to be seen.

“The first market we only had six vendors. The second market we had eleven which is an improvement,” she said. “But this next market we have 24 lined up. So, removing these berries really just means more and more business owners are able to come out and sell.”

The For Oak Cliff monthly Farmers Market accepts SNAP, WIC, and Food Bucks.

For more information visit https://www.foroakcliff.org/.

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