Broomfield Farmers' Market at Holy Comforter

Diocese of Colorado
January 9, 2015
By: 
Christopher Sikkema

The Broomfield Farmers’ Market has made it their mission to “[Bridge] the chasm that separates lower-income residents from access to fresh, nutritious, locally-grown food each summer.” This Jubilee Ministry, based out of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, was borne out of the desire to provide fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods to those with the least access to them.

The market, begun in 2011, made SNAP benefits a centerpiece of their work. During their first season of operation, the market noticed that the participation from SNAP-eligible populations was extremely low—primarily, they reasoned, because processed foods in grocery stores were less expensive than fresh foods at the market. This ministry looked at their options, and concluded that they would incentivize their offerings. The generosity of local donors allowed the market to increase SNAP customers’ buying power by 50%-- that is, $10 in benefits would yield $15 in actual purchases. By 2013, the ministry had ensured a 100% increase in buying power, due to their active engagement with local foundations and national organizations.

The Broomfield Farmers’ Market also worked with the Broomfield Department of Health and Human Services to develop a WIC voucher program. Over four months, the market saw $740 worth of vouchers redeemed to put nutritious, fresh food in the hands of hungry women, infants and children. The Farmers’ Market has become, in their words, “the face of [Holy Comforter’s] worship community in Broomfield.”

The Broomfield Farmers’ Market at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church is a 2014 recipient of a Jubilee Impact Grant.