Laney-Walker Famers Market reopens to curb food desert issues

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Hunger is a serious issue for many people in the CSRA. In fact, more than 50% of our community does not have access to healthy foods.

“This community is one of our communities we’re in the process of revitalizing for Augusta, Georgia. As you know, Augusta, Georgia is one of the many food deserts for Georgia and this market provides the opportunity for fresh food within a neighborhood in walking distance for our residents to enjoy,” said Augusta Housing & Community Development Deputy Director Shauntia Lewis.

The Laney-Walker Famers Market is back open for the spring season.

Augusta Locally Grown Executive Director Rebecca van Loenen said, “They’ve got fresh, pasture-raised pork. They’ve got some beef today from a neighboring farm.”

As they have the beef, you’ll also be able to find many other grocery items every first Friday through spring at the Laney-Walker Market.

“They’ve got jams and jellies so all locally sourced all locally made. They have the honey sticks as well too so they are really good and they’re fun for kids,” said van Loenen.

She further explained, “We price things for a low-income neighborhood, and we recruit our vendors who understand that, and then a lot of our vendors come from the surrounding area. So they know the people, they know the neighborhood and they price things accordingly too.”

Reports show that one in seven people in the CSRA are chronically hungry- every day.

“We’re expecting for this particular initiative to grow. One of our platforms for us to be an entity that people can take the ideas that we foster here and grow so we’re excited what’s coming down the pipeline for the farmers market,” said Lewis.

SNAP and EBT are both accepted at the market and you’ll get two dollars in market tokens for every dollar spent.

“We do that in partnership with the national program through Wholesome way Georgia. They come in and they cover the other half that we double,” said van Loenen.

She added Augusta Locally Grown will be opening another farmers market in Harlem very soon.

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