It isn’t news that food prices in Canada have gone up – when comparing this year to last year, grocery store food prices have increased by 10.6%, with fresh vegetables having the highest increase (13.4%). Even before 2023’s skyrocketing food costs, households with restricted budgets were already having to make difficult choices of what food they could (and could not) purchase each month. With less money to spend on essentials, shoppers are left with limited options: processed and low-nutrient foods are cheaper than fresh, culturally-appropriate, and nutritious foods.
Affordable produce markets are a community-based approach to improve access to fresh and nutritious produce. Because they are often grassroots initiatives and resident-led, affordable produce markets tend to pop-up in neighbourhoods where the need is particularly high. The idea is to offer a variety of fresh produce that reflects the community, at a low cost (lower than most retailers), with only enough profit to sustain the market. These kinds of markets serve many purposes: to make fresh, nutritious produce and food accessible at a lower cost; to provide dignified access to high-quality healthy food; to improve physical and emotional well-being; and to create a safe and welcoming space for social connections.
This year there will be two outdoor affordable produce markets for SRCHC clients and community members:
Harmony Good Food Market, in partnership with FoodShare
2 Gower St.
June – end of October
Outdoor Food Market, in partnership with Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre
947 Queen E. (church courtyard next to South Riverdale CHC at 955 Queen St. E.)
May 2nd – end of September
4:00 – 6:30 pm