Cleveland Clinic kicked of its 2012 Community Farmers Market season on June 6 with the opening of the North Union Farmers Market on Crile Mall, near East 100th Street, between Euclid and Carnegie avenues.
Cleveland Clinic began the Community Farmers Market program in July 2008 as an effort to offer healthy, local food options to the surrounding neighborhood and employees in an environmentally-friendly way. About 2,000 shoppers visit the flagship market on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus each week, including local residents, patients, visitors and employees.
The market on main campus is increased from 19 weeks to 21 weeks, occurring every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. from now through Oct. 24. It features three new vendors: Basil & Beyond, Al’s Vegetables and the Healthy Asian Pacific Islander (HAPI) Fresh program. Visitors to the market can look forward to fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread, flowers and herbs, and other seasonal produce from 30 to 35 local farmers. The first market on June 6 celebrated the start of the growing and harvest season in Northeast Ohio with special recipes and free reusable grocery bags for the first 2,000 attendees.
“We’re excited to embark on our fifth year at Cleveland Clinic, marking a milestone for the market and celebrating the Year of Local Food in Cleveland,” said Donita Anderson, executive director of North Union Farmers Market. “This is a great collaborative effort to educate the community about the health, environmental and economic benefits of locally grown produce.”
For most Cleveland residents, fast-food restaurants are closer than grocery stores to their homes, making healthy food choices and access to fresh fruits and vegetables difficult. This is a problem that Cleveland Clinic attempts to address though the implementation of North Union Farmers Market on its main campus.
“Unhealthy eating habits are a key contributor to chronic disease development,” said Michael F. Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic. “By breaking down barriers to accessing healthy food, we’re also having a positive effect on decreasing the rate of chronic disease in our community.”
The Produce Perks program, a dollar-for-dollar match to Ohio Direction Card customers who purchase produce, is offered this year. Started in 2011, the Produce Perks program helps ensure that fresh, locally grown produce gets into low-income households where it’s needed most. The program offers a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10. As in previous years, farmers at the market will also accept coupons from government agencies for qualifying individuals through the USDA Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Cuyahoga County Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The festive, community atmosphere of the market is enhanced by music from local bands. Visitors can enjoy cooking demonstrations, free food samples and recipes for items in the peak of their season. In addition, Cleveland Clinic provides health education for all visitors, with topics varying each week.
The Cleveland Clinic Community Farmers Market program is a collaborative effort among the Wellness Institute, the Office for a Healthy Environment and Community Outreach. Click here for more information on the 2012 Community Farmers Market, including updates on the regional markets opening later this summer.
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals and 18 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 167,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries.
North Union Farmers Market champions the local foods of Northeast Ohio and promotes their environmental, economic and health benefits by connecting certified producers with consumers through a network of markets. We operate authentic, certified, producer-only markets in order to:
- Teach consumers about the taste and health benefits of eating fresh, locally grown seasonal produce.
- Improve the regional economy by creating vibrant community spaces.
- Enhance our environment and economy by enabling small, sustainable farms to sell directly to consumers.