Farmer’s Market brings healthy choices to PAC community

By Molly Crisp
Pulse Staff Reporter

Farmer’s Markets are full of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables and many other natural products. Now, Palo Alto students, faculty and staff have access to one on campus.

Palo Alto’s S.H.A.R.E. Center (Student Health, Advocacy, Resource and Engagement) hosts a Farmer’s Market every fourth Monday from 9 a.m. until noon. The remaining dates to attend the market this spring semester are March 26 and April 23. The Farmer’s Market is located in the Performing Arts Center Roundabout Parking Lot.

This Farmer’s Market is new to the campus. It started during the Spring 2018 semester and is expected to continue in future semesters.

For many college students and their families, access to fresh produce and natural food items is difficult and expensive. Palo Alto’s Farmer’s Market is an opportunity for students and people throughout the Palo Alto community to experience a true Farmer’s Market first-hand.

This program positively impacts not only students, but also people in the community and local farmers. Farmer’s Markets help small communities both economically and socially by supporting local businesses and bringing locals together.

This opportunity is convenient for students who are already on campus and neighbors of Palo Alto College, who would have to go out of their way to have a similar experience.

The Farmer’s Market has fresh fruits and vegetables, such as squash, zucchini, tomatoes, oranges, potatoes, bananas and many more for around $1 per pound. The first 40 people to attend the market get a voucher good for $5. Hot food is also available for people in need of a fast, hot lunch. The Farmer’s Market has music, movies and is pet-friendly. The market is not just for produce shopping. It is also a social gathering and is meant to be an enjoyable experience.

The idea for the Farmer’s Market started from staff members at Palo Alto. Nathan King, the Healthy Hub Coordinator, is in charge of implementing the Farmer’s Market and is passionate about this new market.

Mobile Mercado is one of the primary vendors and partners of the Farmer’s Market. Mobile Mercado is a mobile grocery store with the San Antonio Food Bank that offers fresh fruits and vegetables at a low cost. Students as well as community members can volunteer to help the market thrive.

“Vendors have no vendor fee attached, and we are always accepting applications for vendors,” said King.

Eating clean and staying healthy is important, especially during college with all the stress and busy schedules. It can be difficult to find time to fit in a healthy lifestyle. Fresh produce is essential to staying healthy and getting the correct nutrition.

With tuition to worry about and having families to feed, access to fruits and vegetables should not be a stressor. Many vendors on site will accept cash, debit, credit, SNAP, WIC, senior vouchers and sponsored vouchers.

Colleges try to look for ways to help their community and get students involved. This market is a way for people to learn about Palo Alto College and what it does for its students, staff and community.

For more information, students can go to the S.H.A.R.E Center, located in the Student Center, Room 101.