Community Food Bank to Relocate Growing Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market

The Community Food Bank’s Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market will move to Mercado San Agustin (MSA) on June 16, 2011.  The market, which has gained national recognition for serving low-income communities in Tucson, is responding to an increase in vendors and the need for more space. Market hours will remain 4:00 to 7:00 PM on Thursdays.

The Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market is the largest and most well-established of the food bank’s six farmers’ markets in Tucson and accepts SNAP benefits (food stamp cards), WIC checks and AZ Farmers’ Market nutrition vouchers.  The market began with eight vendors in 2005 and has grown to 18 to 22 vendors from all over Southern Arizona.

Bill Stern of the Arivaca Community Garden has been selling produce there since 2005.  “This market has been steadily growing,” he says.  “There’s no other market like this one, totally comprised of local produce and food products made by local businesses.”

This growth in variety of Arizona-grown produce, meats, prepared foods, educational workshops and entertainment presents an opportunity to collaborate with MSA, another quickly-expanding community-minded project.  The June 16th relocation will offer more parking, more vendor space and more shelter from the elements.  It will also allow shoppers to visit some of the newly opened small local businesses of the MSA that sell a variety of goods including pastries, tacos and raspados.

The Mercado San Agustin is located at 100 S. Avenida del Convento, west of I-10 near the intersection of Congress and Grande in the Menlo Park neighborhood.  It’s across the street from El Rio Community Health Center on bus routes 21 and 22.