how-prosperity-market-supports-la’s-black-farmers-&-communities

Always searching for one of the best and brightest companies, occasions, and wellness leaders in HUM’s hometown of Los Angeles, we couldn’t assist however discover Prosperity Market.

Conceived in summer time 2020, Prosperity Market runs the gamut from supporting Black farmers and meals producers to furthering meals accessibility and offering diet schooling to native underserved communities.

To be taught extra in regards to the inspiration behind and influence from this stellar initiative, we spoke to Prosperity Market co-founders Carmen Dianne and Kara Still.

Prosperity Market co-founders Carmen Dianne and Kara Still in Los Angeles

What is Prosperity Market?

Carmen: Prosperity Market is a farmers market on wheels and a meals truck in a single, that includes Black farmers, meals producers, and cooks. We journey throughout LA, making it simple to help native Black companies whereas creating meals entry on the similar time.

What is your mission?

Kara: Our mission is to offer a platform for financial development, agriculture, schooling, and group partnerships. We’re actually primarily based in two fields:

  1. financial development for Black farmers, meals producers + cooks
  2. offering meals entry for everybody—particularly in underserved communities

Why is diet schooling so essential?

Carmen: We know that it’s not so simple as dropping kale off, patting ourselves on the again, and pondering we did an excellent job. You can present the meals—that’s half the battle—however there are additionally loads of habits we’ve got to interrupt and way of life adjustments that must occur, like how you can use the produce.

Historically, in these neighborhoods, you don’t have entry to those recent, wholesome meals. When it involves introducing less-exposed meals, schooling is crucial. For occasion, we have to present:

  • how you can prepare dinner it
  • what it does for you
  • the way it tastes

The diet schooling is for us, too. We’re not displaying up as specialists; we’re studying all of this [as we go along].

Kara: Also, the tutorial element makes it enjoyable and a part of a way of life, reasonably than “needing to eat this way” or making it a [strict] weight loss program factor. And generally, you’re used to consuming one thing however solely in a technique. Other instances, you see a meals and it doesn’t appear practical [or applicable] in your life.

When we educate ourselves and others on methods to prep produce, well being advantages, and so forth., it makes it extra attainable and actual, reasonably than one thing you observe from afar. It’s about assembly individuals the place they’re.

What group influence have you ever witnessed to date?

Kara: One of the primary issues we observed is simply the nice and cozy welcome we’ve gotten. Right from the start—with chilly calls and our first market—individuals have been excited. It stunned us how prepared and welcoming everybody was for us to be a platform to advertise Black distributors and farmers.

Carmen: Each month, Prosperity Market provides away 300+ high quality packing containers—they appear infinite! People are so appreciative and excited to obtain them. I felt so blessed to obtain such a field myself, and I’m grateful to provide that feeling to different individuals.

Woman selling fresh food at farmers market

How about behind the scenes?

Kara: Initially, we didn’t take into consideration the connections that our farmers and distributors would make. Some had by no means related earlier than, and now they’re working collectively and collaborating on merchandise and different issues, which is enjoyable to observe.

Carmen: It’s additionally spectacular to observe distributors develop with every market; their cubicles get larger and get higher upgrades. They take their companies and missions very significantly, they usually present up [and deliver] each time.

Why was it essential to create a platform for Black farmers and distributors?

Kara: We consider everybody ought to have entry to high quality meals. Looking to make that doable, we realized simply how few Black farmers there are within the nation.

In the Twenties, there have been about 1 million Black farmers within the US—but they have been nonetheless solely 14 p.c of all farmers. By the Nineteen Sixties, that dropped to lower than six p.c. Then, by the Nineteen Eighties till now, that quantity dropped to just one.3 p.c. It’s an emblem of accessibility of meals within the US. If Black farmers make up such a small p.c, that’s indicative of the standard of meals that Black and minority communities are getting.

The Black farmers we do have have restricted entry to the funding they want that enables them to develop their companies. Unfortunately, most Black farmers are simply above poverty ranges. Also, our farmers are thought-about “urban farmers,” and should not all the time attain the standards to be thought-about a [traditional] farmer.

In that one side, right here’s a complete group of people who find themselves prepared to offer this nice meals—but they’re unseen besides in small environment. But it’s recent, native, simple, and proper right here at Prosperity Market!

Carmen: There’s such an enormous hole with meals. The Black-owned meals companies we do have in LA are few and much between—largely in South Central. So if you happen to’re not there or within the Valley, it’s inconvenient to get to these companies to help them. For that purpose, a cell farmers market made sense for us to create.

Vegan pizza at Prosperity Market LA

What’s subsequent for Prosperity Market?

Kara: We’re in the course of fundraising for our trailer. It’ll permit us to be cell throughout LA to increase our platform, and for farmers to enter areas the place individuals at present don’t have the meals they deserve.

Carmen: In our 48-foot trailer, the again is the farmers market, which is ready up like a produce aisle. We even have packaged meals on the market. Then, the entrance of trailer is the kitchen, which we’ll lease out to meals entrepreneurs with rotating menus, much like a pop-up meals truck.

Any last phrases?

Kara: Our farmers markets are for everybody! And whereas we’re nonetheless gaining traction, telling individuals about who we’re and sharing our story makes an enormous distinction.

Carmen: At Prosperity Market, we’re creating an elevated expertise, whether or not we’re in Malibu or South Central. Simply put, everybody deserves high quality meals.

Visit ProsperityMarketLA.com to be taught extra in regards to the mission, plan a go to, or make a donation. You may also keep posted by following Prosperity Market on Instagram.