Fresh Approach, a Concord-based nonprofit determined to make healthy food available to everyone regardless of economic status, announced the March 24 reopening of its farmers market in East Palo Alto. The market has been closed for the season since November.

South Bay program manager Isabel Medina calls the East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market an “intimate local gathering, filled with fresh, seasonal, organic food supplied by local farmers.”  

“Even our snacks are healthy,” she said.

Isabel Medina, program manager for the East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market, is dedicated to creating healthy changes in her local food system.

In an attempt to strengthen relationships among residents, farmers and community organizations, the Wednesday market not only provides healthy food but also resources for local entrepreneurs, who can take advantage of favorable Fresh Approach permits and licensing agreements and rent space at the market for a minimal cost (as low as $2), Medina said. 

Fresh Approach was founded in 2008 “to create long-term change in local food systems, by connecting California communities with healthy food from California farmers and expanding knowledge about food and nutrition,” according to the company’s website.

“We’re working to address the food system from all angles,” said Laura deTar, Fresh Approach executive director. “How to grow healthy food, how to cook for best nutrition, and providing vouchers to try out healthy produce.”

To help engage low-income and underserved communities to make healthy food more affordable, deTar said that the nonprofit offers a dollar-for-dollar match for food purchases to those receiving government assistance. In 2019, Fresh Approach distributed more than $47,000 in fresh produce through its match programs at the South Bay market alone.

Having been with the nonprofit since 2013, Fresh Approach’s Laura deTar stepped into the executive director role in January 2020.

In addition to running the East Palo Alto market, the company maintains a presence at the Richmond Farmers’ Market and sets up mobile markets, which offer fresh produce out of food trucks, in Sunnyvale, San Jose, Richmond-San Pablo and Antioch.

DeTar urged a strong turnout for the March 24 East Palo Alto reopening.

“The farmers are struggling as we all are,” she said. “It’s a safe place to come and enjoy yourself and help support the local economy.”

The East Palo Alto market reopens at 2555 Pulgas Ave. at Bloomhouse, a community gathering space owned by Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective. Market hours are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Wednesday.

Farmers, patrons and staff must follow COVID-19 protocols including wearing face masks and respecting six feet of social distancing.