A blueprint for African self-reliance and self-determination.
Our mission statement:
“To provide access to fresh, healthy food to the black community, end food apartheid and create community commerce by building relationships with black farmers and vendors — a blueprint for African self-reliance and self-determination.” – OAON Farmers Market
There is so much community support for the Black Power Blueprint and the One Africa! One Nation! Farmers Market. There is a sense of pride in the community and a vision for a prosperous future once again. As a result, we are establishing a farmers market to create an oasis and a blueprint that addresses the issues of concentrated poverty, food apartheid, and grave health disparities found in North St. Louis. The market addresses food justice by cultivating the re-emergence of black farmers and ranchers, providing access to fresh local produce and other agricultural products, instilling a community-based approach to economic development, uplifting the black community and breaking down barriers to healthy fresh food. It provides culturally relevant education to the community on diet-related diseases and offers gardening training to inspire a new crop of agricultural entrepreneurs.
The One Africa! One Nation! Farmers Market will be a popular destination where people can experience the vibrant flavors, cooking styles, foods, entertainment and products that represent the culture of our people from the Caribbean to the African continent to our popular St. Louis BBQ. Our parent organization, APEDF, is uniquely positioned to make this market a success in North St. Louis City. We have 15 years of experience building and managing the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace in Philadelphia that has incubated more than 24 businesses.
The market addresses food justice by:
- Cultivating the re-emergence of black farmers and ranchers
- Providing access to fresh local produce and other agricultural products
- Instilling a community-based approach to economic development, uplifting the black community and breaking down barriers to healthy fresh food.
- It provides culturally relevant education to the community on diet-related diseases and offers gardening training to inspire a new crop of agricultural entrepreneurs.
Health Benefits to the Community
The Missouri Action Guide on Fruits and Vegetables stated that making fruit and vegetable consumption convenient and affordable where children and families live, work, learn, and play is an important health indicator. Farmers Markets that accept SNAP/EBT benefits help make fruits and vegetables affordable for low-income families while simultaneously building capacity and strengthening the local food system to support fruit and vegetable production and distribution.
End Food Apartheid!
The Food Access Research Atlas shows that the population in the census tract of our project is eighty-eight percent black with an average household income of $34,531 and a poverty rate of nearly twenty-nine percent. Twenty-six percent of people are without vehicles and live more than one-half mile from a supermarket or grocery store and thirty-five percent receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Establishing a farmers market where there is food apartheid provides access to local and regional agricultural products that would otherwise be difficult to obtain, and will allow residents to use their SNAP benefits. This also improves access to fresh locally grown produce for low income/low access customers by utilizing EBT/SNAP and other programs in communities located in areas of concentrated poverty with limited access to supermarkets or locally or regionally grown food. Farmers benefit from increased sales in markets that utilize these programs.