Farmers market season is here! New this year: Arlington & Watertown markets

Farmers’ Markets we’re rescuing from:

Mon | The Greenway (formerly City Hall) & Central Square
Tue | Copley & Harvard
Wed | The Greenway (formerly City Hall)Kendall SquareDavis Square; and Arlington
Thu | Belmont & Watertown
Fri | Copley
Sat | Union Square

Welcome to our two new markets!

We’re rescuing fresh food from 12 markets this year, up from 10 last year! We’re delighted to add the Arlington and Watertown Farmers’ Markets to our list this year—welcome!

How does it work?

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Our farmers’ market pickups happen by truck or by bike, depending on the size of the market.

The Food For Free team arrives at the end of the market day. For larger markets, a Food For Free staff member brings up to five volunteers and one of our trucks, while for smaller markets, we work with the awesome folks at Metro Pedal Power.

We bring lots of empty banana boxes and stop by each of our partner farms and bakeries, and they decide what they’d like to put in our donation boxes—typically, anything that the vendor didn’t sell, but doesn’t want to cart back to the farm/bakery, though some also bring extra to donate.

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Max, a volunteer, boxes up donated lettuce at the Davis Square market

The donated food stays fresh in the Food For Free cooler until the following day, when it is sent out to the recipient agencies on our daily delivery routes.

One day, these fresh, nutritious, delicious breads and produce were selling at farmers’ market prices. The next, they are being cooked and served at meal programs, given out at food pantries, or delivered to homebound seniors.

An opportunity to give back

No market vendor is obligated to give—they do so by choice, and in whatever amount they are able.

“To many of these farmers and bakeries, we’re providing a service—they’re often very grateful because they don’t have an outlet for this food, and they hate to see it go to waste, or be used for compost or animal feed,” says Food For Free’s own Sasha Purpura, who does the Davis Square pickup each week. “Some vendors also see this as an opportunity to give back, and bring extra with the intention of donating.”

We’re immensely grateful to all of our partner farms and bakeries, as well as our year-round food donors, and we encourage you to support them in turn. Here’s to a great farmers’ market season!

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Our Executive Director Sasha Purpura flashes a smile as she collects fresh produce from the Davis Square Farmers’ Market.

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