The West End MARTA station will get its first pop-up farmstand next Friday to showcase produce from urban farms in Southwest Atlanta. The stand, which will operate every Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. until early October, is a pilot program that MARTA hopes to duplicate across its other 37 stations in Atlanta. The market will also double the value of SNAP EBT dollars for shoppers with food stamps.
“There’s a need for fresh and healthy food, and transport plays a big role in that,” says Cicely Garrett, the food systems innovation manager at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). “This program allows us to test out some alternative models of how to combine transport and food that can set the stage for things to come and provide people with the opportunity to interact with local growers and outside of traditional store.”
In addition to the ACFB, partners include Community Farmers Markets and South West Atlanta Growers Cooperative (SWAG). The setup will include approximately five booths, two of which will be an aggregation of produce from SWAG farmers, including Jamila Norman of Patchwork City Farms in West End. The remaining three booths will be informational and feature cooking demonstrations to illustrate the benefits and ease of choosing (and preparing) healthy foods. The farmstand will include photos and stories about the farmers, as well as opportunities for shoppers to meet with the growers.