BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (City of Birmingham) — The new Birmingham Central Market, which will be located at 1600 Morris Avenue near the MAX Central Station, will open Oct. 30 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority Executive Director Frank T. Martin will join Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, city councilors, community members and social service organizations for the grand opening.
According to a press release sent out Wednesday, fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs and honey will be sold to the public Monday through Friday from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. Five farmers are currently confirmed to sell at the market, which will accept SNAP/EBT cards.
The market is a result of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority and the City of Birmingham uniting to address the city’s food deserts. Almost 70% of Birmingham residents live in areas the United States Department of Agriculture has designated as food deserts, which are defined as an urban area where it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. The new market will aid in providing fresh produce to residents using the MAX system and traveling through downtown Birmingham.
The City of Birmingham received an initial grant of $50,000 from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to start the Central Market. The City of Birmingham contributed an additional $100,000, the BJCTA provided $50,000 towards construction and $43,000 in-kind donations were given to move the Central Market from an idea to a reality. Hundreds of people use MAX daily, making the downtown hub an ideal location for the farmers market.
“Our hope is that by opening the Central Market at the MAX Central Station, Birmingham residents will find it easier to access the fresh food they need for themselves and their families,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a written statement. “But this market isn’t just for MAX riders, it is for the entire city. We know that if barriers are removed to make it easier to access fresh and affordable food, we will have a healthier community.”
Organizers hope the market is just the beginning of seeing lives and people’s health improved.
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