Friday Dec 22, 2023

Episode 12 | Bringing Farmers’ Markets to Underserved Neighbourhoods: A Story from Scarborough

What is the past, present, and future of farmers’ markets in Scarborough? Toronto’s easternmost neighbourhoods have notoriously lacked sufficient access to vital social infrastructure such as public transit, health care, and fresh, healthy, affordable food. In this episode, Feeding City’s Jasleen Sohal talks with Jennifer Forde about food access and farmers’ markets in Scarborough. Jennifer tells her story of growing up in Scarborough’s Malvern neighbourhood and shares what fueled her to lead the way for farmers’ markets in Scarborough. As a seasoned market manager – Jennifer has overseen several farmers’ markets across the Greater Toronto Area – she first helped bring farmers’ markets to Scarborough five years ago, working with small family farms, women-led enterprises, newcomers, and BIPOC communities to make affordable, nutritious, local produce and culturally diverse artisanal products broadly accessible. She reflects on the operational impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, shedding light on the work of keeping the markets connected to the community and on how the innovations and relationships forged during that time continue to shape Scarborough’s farmers markets even today. The episode concludes with a peek into the Scarborough Neighbourhood Fresh Food Pilot, which used marketbucks and a model of the 15-minute city to increase access to farmers’ markets. Listeners can learn more about Jennifer’s markets by visiting and This Feeding City conversation was recorded on August 18, 2023 and lightly edited for clarity and length. 

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