The Neighborhood Farmers Markets, a community-based, 501c3 organization, is among the most respected farmers market organizations in the nation. (In 2012, our University District Farmers Market was voted best in the nation by both Forbes Magazine and US News!) Since 1993, when we established the first farmer/food only market in the city (University District), we have worked hard to secure the future of local farmland and urban farmers markets through strong programs of advocacy and outreach. We have planted and cultivated a total of 7 farm/food-only farmers markets that directly support over 100 local family farms – keeping in production over 9,000 acres of vital Washington farmland, and supplying 7 Seattle neighborhoods with farm-fresh, locally-produced food.
Our market shoppers annually include thousands of EBT/food stamp users, WIC and Senior coupon recipients, and food bank voucher recipients. Our advocacy and outreach to these groups brings over $200,000 in local food to low income families. In addition, each year our markets donate upwards of 50,000 pounds of healthy food to neighborhood food banks.
Since 2008, our Good Farmer Fund has given over $40,000 to local farms in need, helping with restoration, recovery and innovation in the wake of natural disasters and other catastrophic events. For example: Rama Farm was granted funds to purchase dehydrating equipment, after an unprecedented hailstorm destroyed most of their organic fruit crop. These funds enabled them to both convert the damaged fruit into an excellent saleable product, and to significantly enhance the long-term viability of their 26 acre, certified organic farm. Most recently, Liz and Eric of River Farm received funds to help with recovery after the loss of their home and possessions, due to the Taylor Bridge Fire.
A huge “Thank You!” to all farmers market shoppers and supporters for your support of local agriculture and local farmers markets!
All proceeds from our annual fundraiser directly support the Good Farmer Fund and our seven neighborhood farmers markets: University District, West Seattle, Columbia City, Lake City, Magnolia, Broadway, Phinney. We are acutely aware of the importance and the vulnerability of these markets, and much of our long-term strategic planning focuses on securing permanent market locations for future generations of local farmers and city dwellers.