MCM is the first outdoor farmers market in the Mission and with its establishment in 2010, increased the proportion of Mission households within walking distance of a farmers market from 14% to 54%. Such proximity to fresh, healthy foods is strongly associated with higher fruit and vegetable consumption and reduced prevalence of obesity.
MCM has a host of active programs to increase fruit and vegetable consumption throughout the Mission, in particular among families at greatest risk for obesity and diabetes. MCM has accepted CalFresh (formerly food stamps), WIC checks, and Senior FNMP benefits for purchase of fresh produce since its inception. Thanks to a partnership with Rainbow Grocery during 2011 and 2012, MCM’s “Mercado Match” matched these fresh food benefits $1 for $1. Preliminary results showed that we more than tripled CalFresh participation in less than a year.
The Mission Health Promotora Project – a collaboration between SFGH Healthy Lifestyles Clinic, UCSF Pediatrics Department, Urban Sprouts and the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) – is another program MCM is leading to reduce diet- and activity-related diseases among Mission families. Through brief, bilingual, evidence-based interventions at the Market like one-on-one counseling, cooking demonstrations, and community workshops with health promotoras, this intervention instills an understanding of the relationship between physical activity, nutrition, and health while immediately providing fun opportunities to engage that understanding.