Tacoma Farmers Market
In the mid-20th century, Tacoma’s downtown and city centre witnessed suburbanization and, as a result, divestment in public infrastructure. In 1990, the area saw improvements with the development of art and history museums, the expansion of the University of Washington campus, and the relocation of the federal courthouse into Union Station. Along with these investments in Tacoma’s downtown came the creation of the Tacoma Farmers Market (TFM) by community activists Marcia Moe and Norma Honeysett in 1990. In the beginning the goal of TFM was to provide a place to share locally grown, fresh foods for Tacoma’s residents. Since then, the mission has grown to focus not only on supporting small local businesses but also improving food access for Pierce County residents. TFM has expanded to include three permanent locations: Broadway, Eastside, and Point Ruston. In 2021, the addition of multiple mobile farmers market locations made locally grown produce accessible to more people in low-income and low food access areas of the county, including Parkland, South Tacoma, Key Peninsula, and Eatonville.
TFM began as a small market in the heart of downtown Tacoma and is now a successful small business incubator and community support system. TFM focuses on nurturing the local economy, particularly businesses and farms run by historically marginalised communities, and provides educational opportunities that encourage the community to eat more fresh, locally grown foods. Supporting the low-income population in Tacoma is important, which is why TFM accepts multiple programs that serve this population including, EBT/SNAP, SNAP Market Match, Apple-a-Day, and WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program benefits (learn more here: https://tacomafarmersmarket.com/food-access/). In 2021, the mobile farmers market began with eight locations in Tacoma and greater Pierce County. The Fresh Express Mobile Market targets neighbourhoods in low-income areas of Pierce County and offers a wide variety of produce that can be purchased using EBT/SNAP and SNAP Market Match (learn more here: https://tacomafarmersmarket.com/fresh-express-mobile-market/).