A Note from the Executive Director: Fresh Stop Markets

Georgia Farmers Market Association Will Introduce Fresh Stop Markets to Support Local Farmers and Improve Equitable Food Access in Taliaferro County, Georgia

Pictured Above: Sagdrina Jalal, Executive Director of GFMA and Karyn Moskowitz, Executive Director of New Roots, feeling the Fresh Stop Market love

Pictured Above: Sagdrina Jalal, Executive Director of GFMA and Karyn Moskowitz, Executive Director of New Roots, feeling the Fresh Stop Market love

Through partnerships with New Roots of Kentucky and leaders of Healthier Together Taliaferro, the Georgia Farmers Market Association will roll out the first Fresh Stop Market in Georgia

The Fresh Stop Market concept originated in Ohio and has been further developed since 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky by News Roots, Inc. under the leadership of Executive Director Karyn Moskowitz.  Based on the belief that fresh food is a basic human right, these community driven markets utilize cooperative economics: a philosophy and practice that includes pooling of resources, sharing of skills and taking care of one another. This overarching principal has increased sustainable food systems and improved fresh food access across Kentucky and southern Indiana with fourteen successful Fresh Stop Markets in communities in this region.

I was introduced to the Fresh Stop Market approach to food equity at Harvard University Law School’s Food Justice Forum in the early 2015. For the last three years, Karyn and I have been very intentional about getting to know each other as leaders as well as our respective organizations.  I have been so impressed by New Roots’ work and its incredible impact in Kentucky, and I am thrilled to bring this movement to Georgia. There is immense value in the financial opportunities that the markets provide for small scale farmers as well as their ability to improve food equity in their communities.

Fresh Stop Markets are community led, farm-fresh food markets set up at local faith-based institutions and community centers in fresh food insecure neighborhoods. The food is ordered and paid for in advance so that farmers are assured of their earnings. Within the model, shareholders pool their SNAP benefits and cash to purchase equal “shares” of local, fresh fruits and vegetables every other week for a 22-week market season. Families pay on an income-based sliding scale with everyone receiving a “share” of the same ten varieties of delicious, seasonal, fresh produce (enough to feed 2-3 people for two weeks).  I can’t imagine a better system than one that makes the highest quality food available in Georgia accessible to everyone.

Through Fresh Stop Markets, community members help farmers market their produce to their neighbors. This cooperation eliminates the risks that farmers sometimes face in traditional farmers market models, while also ensuring that all communities can have access to fresh, local, nutrient dense foods. Volunteer chefs are also on hand at Fresh Stop Markets to demo tasty and healthy ways to prepare the food.

“People in the community describe Fresh Stop Markets as welcoming and happy. They are like a family reunion where all five senses are engaged along with lots of laughter, food and fun. We have been eager to share and expand this concept to other states and we are delighted to work with Georgia Farmers Market Association to bring Fresh Stop Markets to Georgia.”  -Karyn Moskowitz

 Through a partnership with leaders of Healthier Together Taliaferro, GFMA will introduce a community-driven Fresh Stop Market to distribute local, farm-fresh food in Taliaferro County. With the right funding, we plan to establish additional markets in other Georgia locations in 2018.  A key first decision was to engage our member farmers to advise the GFMA staff as we develop Fresh Stop Markets in Georgia.  Leading this charge are two local farmers and GFMA board members, Musa Hasan and Gail Zorn.

“I believe in food equity and providing access to fresh food for all. I am proud to be a part of the team bringing Fresh Stop Markets to Georgia. I will participate as a farmer, community builder and an organizer of Fresh Stop Markets.” –Musa Hassan

You can learn more about the upcoming Fresh Stop Market in Taliferro and how to bring a Fresh Stop Market to your community here.

Interested in Joining this Good Food Movement?

On February 13, 2018, we will convene a group of farmers interested in helping us build the model. Please email me at sagdrina@mygeorgiamarket.org for more information.