CSUDH CalFresh Hosts a Pantry Pull-Up Farmers Marketcsudhbulletin September 26, 2020 0 COMMENTS
Students can pull up in their vehicle, wearing their face mask, and purchase pre-packaged produce boxes. Photo by Ruby Munoz.
By Ruby Munoz, Staff Reporter
The CalFresh Food Program continues its efforts to assist low-income families, students, and the community impacted by the pandemic by hosting a weekly farmers market throughout the fall semester..
The market is open to students and the local community every other Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon in Parking Lot 1.
Attendees can purchase locally grown and fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables, and pre-packed food provided by local small business owners who focus on healthier dense food options.
Even during a pandemic, CalFresh, Basic Needs and the Office of Sustainability want to make sure students still have the options to obtain nutritious sustainable foods.
“We want to make sure students are making healthier choices because it’s going to make them feel better in the long run,” said CSUDH Cal Fresh Coordinator and Toro Alum, Carolyn Tinoco.
“Right now with the state the world is in, the farmers market offers a great way to do this safely.”
The farmers market is also taking necessary COVID-19 precautions by having people socially distance by driving up and staying in their vehicle or walking up to the market while wearing a face mask.
In addition, specific guidelines for vendors have been established for the fall semester.
Some of these guidelines include wearing gloves, goggles, and face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Evelin Tamayo, the market managing director who was also in charge last semester, hopes students and locals take advantage of the market’s close proximity.
“Students are given the opportunity to shop directly on campus without having to drive off campus,” said Tamayo.
This is a useful resource for the very few students who are still living on campus to be able to find fresh produce within walking distance.
Tamayo explained that for many students sometimes balancing a school and work schedule interferes with students time to shop or eat healthy.
She hopes that by hosting a farmers market students will be more inclined to shop for healthier options.
Tamayo said that the Hunger Action Los Angeles was one of the first organizations to provide the Market Match Program at farmer’s markets, which is an incentive program that matches EBT benefits up to $10, essentially doubling their spending power.
CSUDH CalFresh partners with Hunger Action of Los Angeles which is a nonprofit organization that works to end hunger and promote healthy eating habits through advocacy, direct service, and community organizing.
“We host community events and work with hospitals, schools, cities, and nonprofits. We often work with low-income communities interested in bringing a farmers market to the area,” said Tamayo. “With this, we bring local businesses and nutrition incentive programs that will benefit the community.”
According to Tamayo, during the pandemic, they have been selling farm boxes available for delivery and contactless pick-up at the farmer’s markets on campus.
People can help students by donating $30 to the Toro Pantry Box that will help three CSUDH students have access to freshly-picked produce. The funds will be redistributed through the Basic Needs distribution events.
The market wants to ensure that all students are food secure and are able to purchase products that allow them to incorporate affordable healthy meals into their diet, especially students who are limited to food sources and are being affected by the pandemic.