September 13 2013

Kalamazoo, Michigan Farmers Market Opens to SNAP Bridge Card Payments

Kalamazoo, Michigan Farmer's Market

My weekly Saturday morning routine during summers in Kalamazoo, Michigan is anchored around a trip to the Bank Street Farmer’s Market. Having made this a habit the past few years, I have seen this major Kalamazoo market explode in popularity: the number of vendors has no doubt shot up along with customer traffic; and new residential development has even followed. The Kalamazoo Farmer’s market is where locals can come together to witness the celebrated food culture of their city. This market is now almost a part of the everyday local architecture in Kalamazoo.

Beyond large West Michigan farms bringing their produce to Bank Street on Saturday (or Tuesday and Thursday) mornings, many big names in the Kalamazoo foodie world set up shop there too: Food Dance Market, Water Street Coffee Joint and Gorilla Gourmet among them. But a trip to the farmer’s market is not just a chance to revel in Kalamazoo’s foodie glory, but also an opportunity to make a statement about the production and distribution of your food.

Kalamazoo, Michigan Farmer's Market

Farmer’s markets often share the common goal of creating a dialogue with the community within which they are based about the sustainable production and distribution of healthy and affordable produce. And, along with 130 other Michigan markets, most vendors at the Kalamazoo Farmer’s market are making that produce easier to access by accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Bridge cards. With this social justice tint behind the growing farmer’s market trend, we can begin to chip away at some of the inequality we often see associated with city living.

How are you involving yourself at your local farmer’s market? What are some other socially conscious trends you have noticed gaining traction in your community?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Meg Mulhall

Meg Mulhall is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. She calls Kalamazoo, Michigan her hometown but is currently exploring community organizing and urban planning efforts in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan. Planning to pursue a degree in either public policy or political science, Meg is interested in the relationship between government and non-governmental organizations and how those relationships can help remedy the lack of responsible and smart planning-related policies.

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 13th, 2013 at 9:15 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environment, Government/Politics, Social/Demographics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


2 Responses to “Kalamazoo, Michigan Farmers Market Opens to SNAP Bridge Card Payments”

  1. Michael Says:

    Finally a place for common ground. I support the farmers and the good food. I might balk when you use the words “sustainable” or “social justice” but the method of bringing the farmers and their fresh and healthy produce directly to the people is something we can all support.

  2. Meg Mulhall Says:

    Michael, thanks for the comment. I’m sorry if buzzwords like “sustainable” and “social justice” make you squirm, but I think we can both agree that a farmer’s market is a great starting point for fostering community around food.

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