By Casey Cutler
One critical component to a healthy community is a strong, local and vibrant food system; a food system rooted in improving quality and access. Throughout the last year, the community has seen that the infrastructure of the food system is fragile. In spring of 2020, neighborhoods saw the food supply chain tested to the limits — stores ran out of eggs, milk and, of course, toilet paper. While farmers markets couldn’t help with the toilet paper, the community benefited from the local farmers who were able to fill the gaps when big grocery stores couldn’t keep enough healthy, fresh food on the shelf. Farmers provided eggs, produce and more. Again in the spring of 2021, when winter storm Uri ravaged the community, farmers stepped up to make sure people had access to food despite their own crop supply being wiped out by the weather. Having a local resource for food was critical. Good Local Markets (GLM) aims to help ensure the community has a thriving local food system. Its mission is to support local farmers and ranchers, incubate small businesses, increase food access, strengthen the local economy, and cultivate healthy communities.
GLM is an East Dallas 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2009. GLM founded two neighborhood farmers markets: White Rock Farmers Market and Lakewood Village Farmers Market. The farmer’s markets serve thousands of residents looking for healthy and locally raised foods. The markets now serve to connect local farmers, food producers and craftsmen directly to our community. This not only helps support the health and wellness of the community but also helps provide a critical revenue source for farmers to sustain their business. All vendors at these markets are guaranteed to be local; no resellers or distributors allowed. Vendors must come from within a 150-mile radius of Dallas and produce the items they sell at market themselves. GLM staff even visits each farm and ranch to ensure local production. A critical component of cultivating a healthy community and food system is improving food access for all. GLM launched a Lone Star food stamp program to increase the accessibility of real food to everyone. Through this program, GLM aims to be part of the solution to food inequality by increasing food access and providing sources of fresh picked, locally grown, produce. How it works: anyone with a Lone Star card can double their dollars by swiping their card at a GLM information booth. For every dollar the shopper spends, they will receive an additional dollar.
For Communities Foundation of Texas 13th annual North Texas Giving Day, Good Local Markets is seeking to raise $10,000 to help support the Double Dollar SNAP program, which allows GLM to match SNAP/EBT families with additional market funds to spend on local produce at the farmers market. This program helps increase food access while also supporting local farmers directly. Good Local Markets believes fresh local food should be accessible to all. To help support increased healthy, local and fresh food access for everyone in the community, give now during early giving at northtexasgivingday.org/good-local-markets or get up and give on Sept. 23 from 6 a.m. to midnight. Every dollar contributed is eligible for bonus funds and prizes.