The Development Corporation of Richmond (DCR) Board of Directors discussed reintroducing a farmers’ market to the community at its Tuesday meeting.
If the farmers’ market is approved, it would be held for about 10 weeks in the fall and 10 weeks in the spring in the parking lot of St. John’s United Methodist Church.
City employees and DCR staff hope to be able to use the parking lot on a long-term basis.
“When we did the first proposal we used the county parking lot and it was very successful,” said Terri Vela, Richmond city manager. “When we moved [the market] it was off the beaten path and the attendance fell off.”
Because the market is still in the planning stage, there isn’t a list of who will be participating or how many vendors are expected to attend.
However, the Development Corporation of Richmond hopes to have a robust variety of vendors, said Cameron Goodman, DCR executive director.
“We need 10-15 vendors to be successful,” Goodman said. He added that if the market is implemented it “will be open to everyone in the community.”
The corporation’s board approved $15,000 to hire a part-time coordinator to orchestrate the creation of the market. Corporation staff members expect the coordinator to work approximately 10-12 hours per week.
“That would include about five to six hours on market days,” Goodman said. One of the tasks the new coordinator will be responsible for is to research the process of accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
SNAP is also known as the Lone Star Card or food stamps. Goodman said that if the market or the vendors can accept SNAP payments it would allow “families to get fresh fruit and vegetables.”
The coordinator will also be expected to help develop educational programming for the market; Goodman provided the example of a gardening class, nutrition workshops and cooking classes.