The Missing Link Between Farms and Tables:
How can NC utilize farmers’ markets to bring equity to farmers and consumers?
How can an under-utilized farmers' market in Charlotte, NC be revitalized to help support communities of Black urban farmers?
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The Charlotte Regional Farmers Market (CRFM) is one of four state-owned farmers’ markets in the state of North Carolina. It was built in 1985 on 22 acres of land. It contains retail buildings and sees about 500,000 visitors per year. This may seem like a lot, but compared to the surrounding population of Mecklenburg county (1.1 million) and the performance of the other state-owned farmers’ markets (1.5 - 3 million visitors per year), the CRM Market is not well-utilized and that is hurting both regional farmers and residents. With about 10% of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County residents enrolled in SNAP, 13% of residents in poverty, and 16% of residents struggling with food insecurity, the CRFM could be a critical piece of infrastructure to help residents have access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods.