BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) We now have a new place to get fresh fruits and vegetables from within the City of Birmingham. In an effort to address the city’s food deserts, the new Birmingham Central Market is a result of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority and the City of Birmingham uniting to find a solution.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin along with the Birmingham- Jefferson County Transit Authority Executive Director Frank T. Martin held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the new Birmingham Central Market.
The new Birmingham Central Market is located at 1600 Morris Avenue and adjacent to the MAX Central Station.
Fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs, and honey will be sold to the public Monday through Friday, 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. Five farmers are currently confirmed to sell at the market, which will accept SNAP/EBT.
WATCH: Mayor Woodfin and the BJCTA host ribbon-cutting ceremony for the New Birmingham Central Market
City officials say 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.
Initially, the city of Birmingham received a 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.
Organizers hope the market is just the beginning of seeing lives and people’s health improved.
Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority Executive Director Frank T. Martin, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, city councilors, community members and social service organizations were all in attendance.