Aya Community Markets: Not Your Typical Farmers Market

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Aya Community Markets is well into an exciting market season! Created in 2011, Aya Markets is a social enterprise of Dreaming Out Loud, a non-profit founded by Chris Bradshaw. Chris originally applied to us for support to help launch Aya Markets. We provided a grant and a team of consultants that assisted with creating a strategic plan for the market program. Two years later, we couldn’t be happier with their success.

Aya Markets isn’t a typical farmers market, it’s re-imagining the farmers market experience by working with food deserts and low-access communities to help provide fresh produce, generate sustainable employment, and open gateways to community health resources that residents need in order to get healthy and stay healthy. It does this by providing:

  • Affordable fresh produce through “Aya Bonus Bucks”, which provides a matching incentive for EBT, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Voucher purchases up to $10;
  • Integration of “green living” demonstrations and technology as learning tools;
  • Live cooking and activity demonstrations (i.e. yoga, capoeira, biking);
  • Health screenings and seminars;
  • Live entertainment, seminars and children’s health reading circles; and
  • Business development for participating farmers, producers, and vendors.

As you can see, Aya Community Markets is more than just a farmers market. This Saturday (August 17th), they’re hosting a market day focused on holistic health and wellness with an opportunity for you to learn about and experience reflexology, yoga, massage therapy, healthy cooking demonstrations, and more. You can find them every Saturday (through November 16th) from 9-1 at 900 7th SW (near the Waterfront Metro Station).

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