Ward 8 Farmer’s Market (W8FM) has made fresh, local food accessible to residents of Ward 8 since 1999. Our goal is for people to eat fresher, more natural and nutritious foods, and adopt healthier lifestyles for the long-term benefit of themselves, their children and families, and society.
Ward 8 has been identified as a “food desert” by the United States Department of Agriculture. Ward 8 has only two full service grocery stores, in contrast Ward 3, the highest-income Ward, which has a population roughly the same as Ward 8 has eleven such stores. We are the only place in the Ward where food assistance recipients may spend their farmers’ market designated coupons, without crossing the Anacostia River.
Ward 8 residents have the lowest rate of fruit and vegetable consumption of all of the wards. Limited access to and consumption of healthy food contributes to high rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
We are a grassroots, community-based response to these disparities. While other markets have come and done, we have persevered through many challenges maintained continuous operations for 15 years.
While farmer's markets in some high-income DC neighborhoods are highly profitable ventures, we operate as a nonprofit.
We aim to bring in enough in sales to make the market financially self-sustaining, but we balance that goal against our mission of make produce affordable for as many residents as possible.
The farmers we work with are proud to be supplying an underserved community, and offer lower prices than markets in affluent areas across the River. As a 501c3 nonprofit, we perform the administrative work the enables venders to accept credit cards and various kinds of food assistance. We publicize the market and organize educational and entertainment events during the market to drawn customers and promote health.
Funded by Washington, DC (February 2015)