|New Farmers Market In New||Thursday: Nov 18th, 2010 - 6:33pm|
|The new Sankofa Farmers Market opens Saturday at 5500 St. Claude Ave., offering fresh produce, local seafood and baked goods. It will be held every Saturday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lower Ninth Ward.|
sankofa marketplace.jpgCourtesy of Sankofa MarketThe new Sankofa Farmers Market opens Saturday at 5500 St. Claude Ave., offering fresh produce, local seafood and baked goods.
"People have been asking for more fresh food and vegetables, and we need to have a venue where farmers and fishers feel comfortable," said Rashida Ferdinand, executive director of the Sankofa Community Development Corporation. "It's all about farmers and fishers from the Gulf coast.
"Despite all of the advances we have made since Katrina, grocery stores have yet to return to the area," Ferdinand said.
The market's website, www.sankofafarmersmarket.org, lists 13 vendors. In addition to produce and seafood, "we have a baker and some prepared food, some vegan prepared food and a praline maker," Ferdinand said. "People are starting to call. We have some of the vendors who were with us previously, farmers and shrimpers, regulars who are back."
In addition to the historic neighborhood where it's located, the market expects to draw shoppers from the nearby Bywater, Gentilly, Marigny and St. Bernard neighborhoods.
Free children's arts and healthy eating activities will be available in a Project Ujamaa tent.
This market, unlike a previous Sankofa one that was started post-Katrina, will be weekly, not monthly, Ferdinand said, and will focus tightly on the food and its vendors.
EBT/SNAP benefit cards, credit cards and debit cards will be accepted, as well as cash, with a token system like the one employed at the three Crescent City Farmers Markets.
Marketumbrella.org, which operates the CCFM, provided technical assistance. The market was one of two in Louisiana to be awarded a United States Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Promotions Program grant, which was used for the token system, Ferdinand said. Additional support comes from the Milagro Foundation, NewCorp and All Souls Episcopal Church.
So what is Ferdinand, a resident of the community, hearing about the market from neighbors?
"They're excited," she said. "They've been asking for this for some time."
Judy Walker, Times Pickayune