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Del City planning farmers market

Kyle Gandy, Del City economic development director, discusses a proposed farmers market during a council meeting. Photo by Lea Terry

By Lea Terry
Midwest City Beacon

In the last several years, farmers markets have grown in both number and popularity across the metro area, with cities including Edmond, Yukon, Mustang and Shawnee establishing their own. At the Jan. 20 City of Del City city council meeting, members approved a resolution to create a farmers market workgroup to bring something similar to the Del City area. The plan, which was proposed by Director of Economic Development Kyle Gandy, would create a group to research options for establishing a farmers market in Del City, something the area does not have. It’s all part of the city’s effort to not only enhance economic growth in the city, but also to create a healthy living environment for residents.

Gandy appeared in front of the council to talk about the plan, saying it would help enhance Del City’s quality of life and resident wellbeing, as well as establishing the city as a healthy community and helping it qualify for grants for additional health and wellbeing initiatives.

Ward 2 Councilperson Pam Finch added that the effort is another step in elevating the city’s quality of living.

“It’s about setting a standard,” Finch said.

The group would comprise community stakeholders and representatives from city agencies, including people with experience and expertise in the areas of health, healthy food and agriculture. The task force would explore every aspect of establishing a farmers market, from examining zoning and permitting ordinances to identifying potential sites for a farmers market. The group will spend this spring and summer researching opportunities and a plan for establishing a farmers market, presenting their findings to the city in October. The group will also examine potential partnerships with other community groups, entities and agencies such as schools, food pantries, senior citizens centers, businesses and neighborhood groups.

To contribute to the success of any farmers market, the group would also focus on making healthy food affordable and accessible to the public, and would explore a wide range of potential public spaces, including parks and schools and potentially temporary street closures.

After reporting on its initial findings, the work group will also propose next steps and continue to present annual reports to the city on future efforts.

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