Farmers Markets Benefit the Public and GSA Communities

Federal buildings are often the focal point of many downtown and community landscapes across the country, a place where people go to work and get business done.  Now, the public and federal employees alike have another reason to visit federal buildings and campus areas: farmers markets!

The Department of Agriculture estimates that the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has grown from almost 2,000 to more than 6,000 since 1994.  A number of these markets are near buildings owned or leased by the General Services Administration.  These federal buildings, courthouses, and campuses provide an ideal setting for farmers markets because of their central location and proximity to urban areas.

So why visit a farmers market? Because eating locally grown foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, promotes good health and helps support local farmers. It’s also an opportunity to reduce your personal environmental footprint. Buying fresh food that hasn’t traveled far, cuts down on harmful greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, you’re supporting your community’s economy by supporting local farms.

GSA is answering the Obama administration’s call to create a culture of wellness by improving access to healthy food in the workplace. GSA has partnered with the USDA to prepare a guide to opening a farmers market on federal property.  Additionally, GSA has also set up its own farmers markets for federal employees and the public.

In Atlanta, GSA’s Southeast Sunbelt Region launched the Midday Market at the Sam Nunn Federal Building, a fresh produce stand offering more than 70 varieties of fresh, organic, and often locally sourced fruit, vegetables, nuts and honey.  Since the market’s launch, hundreds of federal employees, the general public and business community surrounding the federal center campus have purchased fresh produce at the open-air market. And in Colorado, GSA’s Rocky Mountain Region is co-hosting a weekly farmers market with the city of Lakewood at the Denver Federal Center.

To find out more about GSA’s role in setting up farmers markets, click here.

To find out more about the Denver Federal Center farmers market, click here.

To find a farmers market near you, click here.