Waco Farmers Market
4 – 8 p.m. Tuesdays
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturdays
400 S. University Parks Drive
By Allie Matherne
Homegrown rhubarb, freshly baked granola and cold-pressed juice can be found at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market — except now it will be available during the week as well.
Starting April 21, the market will expand to Tuesday nights at the same location as the Saturday event.
There is enough momentum and support for the farmers market to expand, said market manager Camille Cody.
“It creates a community event in Waco that makes Waco more progressive, but also more community-minded,” Cody said. “It’s kind of like a big party that I get to be a part of.”
The additional market will endorse a healthier lifestyle overall, Cody said.
“It can be hard to buy produce for a whole week,” Cody said. “When the farmers market started there were two grocery stores around the area that have now closed down.”
The market takes SNAP cards to help low-income families that want to live healthier, Cody said.
“The market is located in a food desert,” Cody said.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, food deserts are defined as “low-income areas that have low levels of access to a grocery store or a healthy, affordable food retail outlet.”
Though there may be a perception that people of lower income have more time on their hands, the reality is their time is even more limited than that of middle class families, said Matt Hess, executive director at the World Hunger Relief Inc. It is even more essential that healthy food is within reach for these people, Hess said.
“The Farmer’s Market does take SNAP, and I think a lot of people may be working downtown during the week as opposed to the weekend,” Hess said. “The choices need to be available and convenient for [people with lower incomes].”
Vendors such as Summer Shine, owner of Luna Juice, are excited about the opportunity to expand their customer base.
“I think it’s going to bring a different kind of buyer,” Shine said. “I think Saturday brings a hangout atmosphere. This will bring more of a buyer’s market.”
The market will sustain a large number of vendors, as there will be between 20 and 25 vendors each week, Cody said. On a typical Saturday the market draws about 40 vendors.
“It’s my passion to see people excited about local food,” Cody said.