4 Year Anniversary at Rillito Park
Save the date! We’re bringing the party to the Rillito Park Farmers Market (4502 N. 1st Ave.) on Sunday, November 4th from 9am to 1pm. Recently voted Tucson’s best farmer’s market of 2018 in both Tucson Weekly and Arizona Daily Star. We’re celebrating our 4 year anniversary under the Rillito Park’ pavilions with a featured chef demo from Chef Nick Krutz of Contigo Latin Kitchen! We’ll have special live music from Michael P and the Gully Washers to anchor the good food and good vibes. Plus, Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson will be joining the festivities for an extra show of support.
4 years ago, HeirloomFM partnered with Pima County to open Tucson’s first permanent farmers market pavilion at Rillito Park. Designed to be a pillar destination for the community, the pavilion showcases the bounty of food in the region and has dramatically enhanced the economic vitality of Tucson’s local food system. Heirloom Farmers Markets has been serving Baja Arizona for more than 18 years, and operates the largest farmers market system in Southern Arizona. Heirloom’s Sunday market gained notoriety at St. Philip’s Plaza and has continued to grow since moving to the Rillito Park Food Pavilion location in November of 2014. More than 80 vendors and 1,800 weekly shoppers currently participate in the Sunday market with numbers steadily climbing each season.
We are excited to also kick off our newest weekly educational program Taste of the Market (TotM) at Rillito Park Farmers Market. Sponsored by Arizona Complete Health, TotM is a weekly helping of food literacy and education, which enables market customers to learn about the healthy, whole, and local foods that are accessible to them at the farmers market. By engaging visitors in an educational experience, including a taste test of fresh foods, TotM empowers individuals to choose foods that nourish their bodies while supporting small-scale local agriculture and local food producers. Make sure to stop by TotM every week for a different theme in food literacy that teaches about food production or preparation and will allow all visitors to directly interact with food.
Of the many accomplishments Heirloom has had at Rillito Park, the most impactful may be the program to accept SNAP and double the purchasing power up to $20 (thanks to USDA grants from Pinnacle Prevention and Wholesome Wave), with the additional portion to be spent on local fruits and vegetables. Since the start of the SNAP Double Your Dollars Program three years ago SNAP participants have spent over $20k on fruits and vegetables. These dollars don’t just buy local food – they end up in the hands of nearby growers, and then radiate out through the community, bolstering the economy and improving public health. Plans are now underway to raise funds to continue the SNAP Double Yours Dollars Program and build an additional 4th pavilion at Rillito Park.