Los Angeles Legalizes Sidewalk Vending!

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to legalize sidewalk vending and create a permit system. 

This achievement has been a long time coming, with the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign (LASVC) advocating for their rights for nearly a decade. Their advocacy sparked the City of Los Angeles to conduct five years of research on the sidewalk vending program, which has now resulted in this monumental step toward food justice for sidewalk vendors and micro-entrepreneurs alike.

The LASVC represents thousands of vendors, many of whom are low-income immigrants. Legalizing sidewalk vending will offer these folks protection in case of conflict, and will provide more opportunities for economic and entrepreneurial growth. 

So why is establishing a permit system important?

For one, vendors will still be required to obtain health permits and business licenses, and this new permit system will offer assistance in vendors getting all proper documentation, according to the law.

In addition, vendors will be reassured that their reserved spot will be available to them without worry. Prior to permits, vendors had to claim their spots on the street at absurd and inconvenient hours. For some vendors, this meant showing up at 2am, putting their lives in danger. With permits, they will be able to show up to their designated location during regular vending hours, offering them protection and a better quality of life.

The permit system will also encourage the increase of fresh food in underserved communities. The City of Los Angeles will be able to incentivize healthy food by waiving fees for vendors who sell it. The hope is this move will result in increased access to fresh food, and therefore a healthier community altogether. 

What a win for sidewalk vendors and micro-entrepreneurs of Los Angeles! The vote is in compliance with SB 946 (Lara), signed by Governor Brown in September 2018, which decriminalized sidewalk vending for the state of California. Hopefully this move will result in better conditions and opportunities for vendors, as well as healthier communities for their neighborhoods.

Update on Ongoing Project with MIFI and REAP Food Group

Metrics and Indicators for Impact (MIFI), a data collection and analysis program spearheaded by UW-Madison professor Alfonso Morales, is excited to be partnering with REAP Food Group this fall under their Farmers Market Promotion Program grant.

Founded in 1997,  REAP is a Wisconsin organization that connects consumers and producers with local communities in order to grow the state’s sustainable food system. In 2002, they created the Farm Fresh Atlas which is a publication of farms, farmers markets, and other food retail businesses  throughout Wisconsin that use sustainable practices and sell food directly to customers. Available in both paper and online versions, people can often find Farm Fresh Atlas copies at their local market or some community spaces, or they can simply visit farmfreshatlas.org and type in their zip code.

Recently, REAP has been awarded a Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grant from the USDA for its work in developing and expanding new market opportunities for farms and farmers markets. REAP has enlisted the help of MIFI to work with a system of markets within their Atlas, in order to collect data and analyze the economic impact of farmers markets to the state. For the purposes of this project, MIFI and REAP decided to work with markets based in Milwaukee county and parts of Central Wisconsin in Marathon, Waupaca, and Wood County in order to compare farmers markets in urban and rural parts of Wisconsin.

MIFI is able to collect data for over 25 metrics through use of instruments such as visitor count and multiple ways of collecting sales data, including analysis of purchasing mechanisms that include SNAP benefits and other community vouchers, in order to identify how markets contribute both economically and socially to the greater community.

Historically, farmers markets are seen as an important contribution to neighborhoods and cities, bringing together diverse elements of downtown areas and allowing a place for community enterprises to grow and prosper. This is an exciting project for those in the Milwaukee and Central Wisconsin region and will provide valuable information for the market system and everyone involved.



New work on farmers markets!

I’ll likely be blogging about this – Please have a look at this:

Plan, Partner, Promote: Top eight tips to support Wisconsin farmers market outreach and marketing

Denver’s First community-garden-produce-sharing program expands

Read about Denver’s first community-garden-produce-sharing program, Fresh Food Connect, as they expand to help locals living in food-insecure neighbors. 

In addition to regional expansion, Groundwork Denver Executive Director Wendy Hawthorne mentioned that the program is also working on creating a mobile application that will license people to manage Fresh Food Connect in different regions. 

“We already have Colorado Springs using it; they started using it last year as our first region outside Denver. As soon as licensing is ready, we’ll have at least five communities that want to use it. One in Florida, one in Connecticut, Milwaukee and a few local: Boulder, Longmont…” stated Hawthorne.

Read more at: http://www.denvermetromedia.com/Life/news/local-produce-sharing-program-fresh-food-connect-expands-int/

Milwaukee Farmers Markets’ Nutrition Assistance Programs Availability and Acceptance

Nutrition assistance program benefits are becoming widely accepted outside of grocery stores across the country, and this trend is strongly supported in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Shopping at farmers markets is a great way to utilize one’s nutrition assistance dollars – as the consumer benefits from increased availability of fresh, local produce and the farmers receive a wider and loyal customer base. However, many are not aware that their benefits can be used at farmers markets, so the Milwaukee Farmers Market Connection put together a flyer in order to advance their goal of providing fresh, local food for all of Milwaukee. See the attached PDF to see which markets in Milwaukee accept WIC, Quest/SNAP/EBT/FoodShare, and SFMNP benefits.

MKE farmers market list 2017

A link on more information about FoodShare benefits – how to sign up and who is eligible:


What L.A. Can Learn From Its Failed Experiment in Legalized Street Vending


Although L.A. has officially legalized street vending in the midst of a presidential transition, much more work needs to be accomplished in order to make this decriminalization successful the second time around. Despite an initial success in securing a legal vending district in MacArthur Park 20 years ago, benevolent city council members were unable to negotiate terms that made street vending appealing for both vendors and the community itself. The new vending policy has yet to be fully developed and initiated, but it appears council members are more attune to making street vending functional and permanent – which promises paramount economic opportunities for communities, particularly Central American immigrants, in L.A..


Full article: https://www.citylab.com/life/2017/06/what-la-can-learn-from-its-failed-experiment-in-legalized-street-vending/530829/?utm_source=nl__link2_062617

See more:  https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/cityscpe/vol18num1/article5.html

A New Farmers Market Provides Fresh Solutions in Elvers Park

Arriving on the first day of Elvers Park Farmers Market, opening for the very first time on June 10th, I encountered the busyness like any other ordinary market, but its founding reflects important considerations from the local community.

The market is situated between three lower income communities in Dane County, WI: Park Edge/Park Ridge, Hammersley/Theresa and the Balsam/Russett neighborhood. Its founding helps solve some of the problems many lower income communities face, including community building, proper health and food insecurity. Nearest Stores like Wal-Mart and Wegman’s across the nearby highway are not accessible by foot, but Elver’s Farmers Market is located for convenient access. It does not only boast free parking, but is also situated right off major bike paths (I biked from the Southwest commuter trail). The market also carefully considers economic issues: accepting both SNAP and EBT.

The first day of the market was a success! Fresh strawberries, and colorful flowers currently line the market. Vendors and local businesses excitingly interacted with their new customers and partnerships with local businesses serve important health and education purposes as well. MG&E energy company demonstrated a solar demo and energy awareness, while SSM Health shared valuable nutrition and general health information. The market will serve a very important role in the community, both as a needed space for access to fresh fruit and vegetables, but as an education resource as well.

Resources: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/a-new-farmers-market-in-madison-s-elver-park-hopes/article_70a441e5-0ae3-5b54-9abf-ea93fe539a49.html


Harvesting Data to Grow Farmers’ Markets

UW-Madison researchers have developed a tools to help collect, interpret, and apply data to expand farmers’ markets in the country.

Read more at: http://ls.wisc.edu/…/harvesting-data-to-grow-farmers-markets

Photos from Dane County Farmers’ Market – Madison, WI

Market Growth and Expansion

Markets can serve multiple purposes. They often “have a remarkable way of weaving into the fabric of one’s community by connecting both regional food systems and a network of artisanal producers of goods to the economies of metropolitan centers,” as stated in “The Best Weekly Markets in the Southeast” by Michael Field. With the help of private partners or local non-profits, some markets are able to grow and expand into notable businesses. Take a look at the success story Jacksonville, Florida’s Riverside Art Market doing just this.
« Older posts

© 2024 OPENAIR

Up ↑