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Release Date: 04.20.2012 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Community Farmers Markets

Three Local Farmers Markets Lead the Way in Reducing Plastic Waste

Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation providing markets with biodegradable bags

In honor of Earth Day, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) will partner with three local farmers markets in an initiative to increase use of biodegradable bags. 

The participating markets include East Atlanta Village Farmers Market (EAVFM), Grant Park Farmers Market (GPFM) and Peachtree Road Farmers Market (PRFM).  For the 2012 season, each market will provide shoppers with these corn-based bags to reduce waste.  The initiative will save a half-ton of plastic bags from entering landfills, where they would typically spend hundreds of years polluting the Earth.

The program began last year when Ms. Avery Wiens, a Lovett High School student and intern at PRFM, initiated the partnership as part of her senior project.  AFYF is expanding the program to new markets for the 2012 season.

“Thanks to our partnership with the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation in 2011, we were able to keep 40,000 plastic bags out of landfills,” celebrates Lauren Carey, Market Manager of PRFM. “In 2012, this initiative will keep 120,000 bags out of landfills.”

Biodegradable bags reduce the use of toxic plastic bags and provide a healthy solution to produce protection while shopping.  These biodegradable and compostable bags provide cover and barriers for more fragile produce like lettuces, tomatoes and berries.  Starkly contrasting their plastic counterparts, biodegradable bags typically biodegrade within one year.

“Progressive cities around the country are eliminating plastic bags from the market-place.  We believe that Atlanta farmers markets are an ideal platform for leading the citywide transition from plastics to biodegradable products.  The Peachtree Road, East Atlanta Village and Grant Park Famers Markets are thrilled to partner with the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation in being champions of this transition,” said Katie Hayes, Executive Director of EAVFM and GPFM.

About the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation:
Investing across Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation helps nonprofit organizations reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness. The foundation was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, the foundation has grown to be the largest owner-funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $17 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.

About the Peachtree Road Farmers Market:
The Peachtree Road Farmers Market was founded in 2007 as a joint project between Gina and Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene, and the Cathedral of St. Philip. The farmers with whom the Hopkins' work were in

need of a centrally located weekly market and the Cathedral, located near the center of Buckhead, had space in its large parking lot and the desire to bring the community together around local food.

The Market has grown from 12 vendors in its first year to 70 vendors in 2012, making it the largest producer-only market in metro Atlanta. Producer-only means that everything at the Market has been grown, raised, or made by the seller, ensuring fair prices for both the vendors and the consumers. The Market staff visits member farms and kitchens to make sure its consumers are getting the highest quality produce and products. Vendors range from farmers, meat and dairy purveyors, chefs/prepared food specialists and artists.

Now in its sixth year, Peachtree Road Farmers Market is a leader in the community. The Market accepts Georgia EBT/ SNAP benefits (food stamps) and doubles the value through its partnership with Wholesome Wave Georgia, helping to make healthy food accessible to all.

2012 Season: Peachtree Road Farmers Market is open April 14th – Dec 15th Saturday mornings 8:30-12:00.

About East Atlanta Village Farmers Market:
The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market opened in 2006 and is known for it’s hip urban vibe and commitment to increasing access to fresh, local food for low-income residents in the area.  It has been voted the Reader’s Pick for the Best Outdoor Farmers Market in Atlanta’s Creative Loafing Magazine three years in a row.   Over 30 vendors feature delicious local food including, organic vegetables, Georgia peaches, unique fruits, artisan crafted breads, farmstead cheeses, unique prepared foods, wood-fired pizza, beverages, and much more.   There is an on-site Edible Learning Garden where free classes on cooking, sustainability, art and gardening are taught each week during market.  Come to have a picnic dinner and stay to see the local bands and artists that flock to this in-town market.  The EAVFM is considered the town square of the East Atlanta neighborhood and quickly becoming a robust hub for urban agriculture and health education.

2012 Season: Thursdays from April 19, 2012 to December 13, 2012 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

About the Grant Park Farmers Market:
The Grant Park Farmers Market opened in May 2011 as a pilot program of the Grant Park Conservancy and was named the Best New Farmers Market by Atlanta Magazine.  Over 30 vendors feature delicious local food including, organic vegetables, Georgia peaches, unique fruits, artisan crafted breads, farmstead cheeses, unique prepared foods, wood-fired pizza, beverages, and much more.  Weekly free celebrity chef demos feature the top chefs in the south including Linton Hopkins, Virginia Willis, Hugh Acheson and many more.  The GPFM has been able to transform a designated food desert into a thriving local food hub in just a few short months, bringing together a diverse community through the weekly event.   This market is a great place to bring the family for strolling and brunch before heading to Zoo Atlanta or the other attractions in historic Grant Park.  

2012 Season: Sundays from April 29, 2012 to December 16, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m

Contact Info

Contact Name: Katie Cash Hayes

Company: Community Farmers Markets

Phone: 404-919-3619

E-mail: katie@farmeav.com