Civil Center Farmers Market Update #1

San Francisco, being a techie sort of town, televises and makes available its proceedings online. You can see how the Civic Center farmer’s market discussion all went down here (begins at 04:14:00). If televised local government is something that floats your boat, you can also watch the public comment period too.

But the short of it comes directly from the farmer’s market manager, Christine Adams, who tells all, below the fold.

She writes:

Dear Friends,

Thank you all for your amazing support!!! It truly has made a world of difference!

Because of an outpouring of letters, calls, emails, etc. to our elected officials at City Hall, on June 19th, the Mayor asked his budget staff to reverse his proposal to take over operation of our market and instead, allow Heart of the City to continue to operate the market.

Although this is a victory for the community, our work on this issue is not over. The City wants to renegotiate our permit to operate at UN Plaza including increasing the fees we pay and taking a percentage of the gross revenues (see below for more details).

We have received a proposed framework for the new permit from the San Francisco Real Estate Department, but we have not yet agreed to the terms of the new permit. The new permit will have to be approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and signed by the Mayor. We will notify you as we know more.

Thank you again for your support!

Christine Adams
Market Manager

Important Background Information

Heart of the City Farmers Market is 501c4 non profit started on June 14th, 1981 as a project of the Quaker Foundation and the Market Street Association with the intent of providing fresh food to low income residents of the Tenderloin. Heart of the City Farmers Market had 15 farmers at this time, and has accepted food stamps since the first day. Some of the original farmers are still vendors at the market.

Heart of the City Farmers Market does not accept grants, and is completely self supporting. The Market pays for all administrative, operational and marketing expenses including private security, garbage, and street sweepers. Additionally, Heart of the City Farmers Market pays cleaning fees to the Department of Public Works, and parking fees to the Department of Parking and Transportation.

Heart of the City Farmers Market is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 5 farmers and 2 community members. Our intent is to provide access to high quality, fresh local produce to San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. We accept EBT/food stamps, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons. We host field trips from dozens of schools throughout San Francisco, and partner with many public and private organizations to provide health screenings, nutrition education, and food system events. Each year we organize a Fall Harvest pumpkin patch for local school children. Children visiting the pumpkin patch receive free pumpkins. Throughout the year, children are learning about where their food comes from, they’re meeting their farmers, and they are learning the importance of eating fresh produce.