To Market, to Market
November 17, 2011
The parking lot at Loyola’s campus police headquarters along York Road, typically quiet and largely empty during the summer months, filled with hundreds of neighbors on four Wednesday afternoons this summer with the launch of the Govanstowne Farmers’ Market.
The market, a collaboration between Loyola’s York Road Initiative and the community organization the York Road Partnership, brought a welcome influx of fresh breads, seasonal produce, and local meats to the neighborhood, which lacks a grocery store or many other options for purchasing healthy food.
“We had close to 200 senior citizens within the first hour and a half,” said Erin O’Keefe, ’03, director of Loyola’s York Road Initiative, of the market’s July 20 opening.
The market is one of the first tangible responses to the Initiative’s “Listening Projects” carried out last winter, which revealed how area residents and business owners believed Loyola could best leverage its resources to support the needs of the neighborhood, which lies just east of Loyola’s Evergreen campus.
“Establishing a farmers’ market was a No. 1 priority,” said O’Keefe.
While this summer’s market was a pilot program, O’Keefe says that the initial success of the market could lead to its return and future expansion.
Efforts are currently underway to survey vendors and neighbors to learn how to improve the market for next summer.