Little Jamaica mural

New Afro-Caribbean Farmer’s Market arrives in Little Jamaica

Food inequality is a known problem but is often ignored when it comes to pricey farmer’s markets. The new Afro-Caribbean Farmer’s Market at 1531 Eglinton Ave. W. and Oakwood aims to solve this problem by providing fresh produce to everyone in Little Jamaica through a new currency accepted at the market called Callaloo Cash.

While low-income individuals are given some produce through government programs and non-profit organizations, most produce is not organic. 

“The produce is riddled with pesticides. Organic/clean markets are seen by many as only for the rich…we want to make sure no one is left behind when it comes to clean food,” says Lori Beazer, Market Manager.

Callaloo Cash is a subsidy and can be purchased by local businesses and organizations and distributed. Donations can also be made to the market, turned into Callaloo Cash, and handed out to people that come to the market seeking food assistance. Alternately, donors can purchase the currency and distribute it to those in need.

Callaloo Cash effectively helps to bridge the widening gap between those that can afford to purchase fresh organic produce and those that should be given the same opportunity but do not have the same income. 

Food items from the Caribbean and Africa will be available at the market alongside local food and craft artisans selling lifestyle goods, bread, fruits, desserts, sauces, and jams. 

The market is a new concept in partnership with York-Eglinton BIA and city councillor Josh Matlow, who recently proposed that the area known locally as Little Jamaica be designated Toronto’s latest cultural district to protect the heritage of the York-Eglinton neighbourhood.

“This market will provide residents with fresh produce and delicious food that reflects our city’s Caribbean communities and African Diaspora,” said Matlow, in a press release. “It will also create a vibrant and animated “town square” every Sunday that brings people together and contributes to the economic and cultural development of Little Jamaica.” 

The new Afro-Caribbean Market will help add life back to the community while keeping all residents in mind. The market will run from July to October on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More details can be found here

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