In the heart of the Fair Haven neighborhood, amidst the sound of afternoon traffic rolling through a concrete cross-section and power lines criss-crossing above, a small line of residents and curious pedestrians formed in front of a pop-up tent perched outside of the Fair Haven Library.
They waited patiently to be helped by a group of friendly farmers to pick and pack fresh peppers, thick ears of corn, leafy bunches of kale and more.
Last Wednesday, the popularity and need for these mobile markets could easily be felt in the gratitude expressed by patrons as they walked away with their pick of locally grown items, some of which they say they have been missing for the last two years due to the pandemic.
“I missed the corn”, said Anna Kortosky (pictured below), who came in purple sunglasses that matched her exuberance. “We haven’t had markets for the last two years because of the pandemic.”Kortosky went on to explain that these markets are beneficial for her as a senior, because she enjoys the benefits of the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The program provides a book of checks for seniors to use, like cash, on fresh produce.
“We make a point to focus on providing produce to senior housing areas and senior centers through our partnership with the New Haven Department of Senior Services”, said organizer Kae Vargas. “The Mobile Market program is grant funded so it allows us to sell produce at a much lower cost than normal farmers markets”.
Miguel Vargas, Max Goodwin, Kae Vargas, Leany Munoz. Alisha Martindale Photos.
Katiel and his grandfather, Miguel, say they especially enjoy the fresh strawberries they pick up when they visit the Mobile Market.
“The Mobile Market accepts and encourages WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks, cash, and card payments,” according to the Common Ground website. “Customers get 50 percent off with SNAP purchases (thanks to CitySeed).”
More info about the Mobile Market initiative and current pop-up times and locations can be found here.All photos are by Alisha Martindale.