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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Farmers Market Returns To Seattle Food Apartheid Zone 

On May 14, 2022, The Delridge Farmers Market will reopen on May 14 in the Delridge neighborhood of Southwest Seattle. The Market launched last summer, and seeks to put fresh, local food produced by minority-owned businesses directly into the hands of the neighborhood’s residents. 

With a mission to serve the African Diaspora immigrant and refugee community in King County, nonprofit African Community Housing & Development (ACHD) has heard from the community for years about the need for food access programs in Delridge. The Delridge Farmers Market is designed to provide a wide array of culturally appropriate foods for the immigrant and refugee community in the area. Featuring robust food access programs, the primary goal of the market is to bring local, nutritious food to everyone, especially families for whom fresh produce is a financial struggle. The market also aims to holistically support Black and Brown entrepreneurs who run farms and food-based businesses. 

The majority of vendors at the Delridge Farmers Market are people of color, and many are immigrants and refugees themselves. With the goal of supporting the development of small businesses in mind, vendors are not charged a stall fee to participate and are provided with resources, equipment, and technical support as they build their capacity to sell at farmers markets. In addition, ACHD seeks to reduce the inherent economic risk of selling at a farmers market while eliminating food waste by purchasing any leftover produce at the end of the market day. That food is then delivered to members of the African Diaspora immigrant and refugee community who are unable to attend the market due to mobility or transportation barriers. “We’ve created a market model that is a win-win-win for customers, vendors, and the community.  

Throughout 2022, a variety of vendors will be returning to the market, including:  Afella Jollof Catering (Senegambian cuisine), Chef Jalissa Culinary Co (Southern-inspired baked goods), CityFruit (fruit from Seattle’s urban orchards), Heu’s Blooms & Greens (vibrant locally grown bouquets), Ma & Pops (Caribbean-inspired popsicles), Regeneration Farm (sustainably grown produce from Woodinville), Seola Bee Company (hyper-local honey from West Seattle hives), Small Axe Farm (produce grown by the Black Farmers Collective), Umoja Ni Nguvu (produce grown by Burundian immigrants), and Wakulima (culturally-relevant African produce). The market is also seeing incredible growth, adding 10+ additional vendors this year including: Ardour Sisterz Candle Co. (100% coconut soy wax crafted candles and melts as well as traditional African beads and clothing), Haki Farmers Collective (produce and spices grown using traditional methods), Lillie’s Passion (lovingly-crafted sauces, pickles, and jams), Theary’s Flowers & Produce (sustainably grown Cambodian produce), and more!  

The Market also hosts on-site connection to resources, offered by ACHD staff in both English and Somali, and provides other community organizations the opportunity to introduce their community services to both vendors and patrons. Organizations like Muslimahs Against Abuse Center and the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association have already signed up for tabling this year. 

Look for the market on the second and fourth Saturday of each month from May – October 2022, 10am – 2pm in the courtyard of Hope Academy – 9421 18th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106. Everyone is welcome to attend, and robust food access programs are available (including SNAP/EBT, WIC/Senior FMNP checks, SNAP Market Match, and Fresh Bucks). Free bags of produce will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

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