Heart of the City Farmers' Market is a farmer-run non-profit farmers market located in San Francisco's United Nations Plaza on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The market was created over thirty years ago to bring high-quality and affordably priced produce from small local farms to the heart of the San Francisco's urban low-income communities, as well as to support and sustain California's small-scale family farmers. We are an independent non-profit that is run by its farmers, many of whom have been here since the market first opened, with a mission to bring healthy food and nutrition education outreach to a "food desert" that lacks a grocery store. Over 75% of food stamps used at San Francisco farmers markets are used here. To keep stall fees low so prices stay affordable for this low-income community, our market operates on a shoestring budget and we are fondly known as "The People's Market" for our diversity and grassroots, family nature. Since the market's first day 1981, we've been committed to helping to create a healthy Heart of the City.
LOCATION AND HOURS
Heart of the City Farmers’ Market is located in the United Nations Plaza at the heart of San Franciso’s Civic Center on Market Street between 7th and 8th Street. It is directly above the Civic Center BART station and is in close proximity to San Francisco's City Hall. It is easily accessible from the Civic Center BART, Civic Center Muni Metro Station and Muni lines 5, 6, 7, 9, 19, 21, 71.
WE ARE A YEAR-ROUND MARKET OPEN RAIN OR SHINE
Because of our unusually long market hours, some farmers sell out before the close of market. Come before 3pm for the best selection, but come later in the day for the best prices! Our customers love our farmers' "$1 a bag!!" deals that some offer at the end of the day.
The market will only be closed on the following days:
You can count on us to be open every other day of the year, including holidays.
WE ACCEPT EBT, WIC, AND SENIORS FARMERS' MARKET NUTRITION COUPONS
Heart of the City has been a leader in serving vulnerable communities by accepting food stamps, WIC, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons. We take pride in the fact that we were one of the first markets in California to accept food stamps electronically, and have trained other market managers throughout the state to provide this critical service to communities in need. Heart of the City processes almost 80% of all EBT food stamp purchases made at farmers markets in San Francisco.
WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition coupons can be used directly with our farmers at their stalls.
EBT cards can be used at the market information tent to get tokens between the hours of 7:00am and 4:00pm on Wednesday and Sunday. Customers may use these tokens to buy items at farmers stalls. No hot food or non-edible items like flowers may be purchased with the tokens. THE EBT MACHINE SHUTS DOWN AT 4:00PM. Tokens never expire, so stock up before 4pm if you plan to shop after that time.
WHO'S AT THE MARKET?
Heart of the City is a large gathering of local farmers and vendors selling a variety of products ranging from locally-grown and organic produce, fresh meat, preserves and honeys, potted plants, flowers, prepared food, kettle corn, nuts and more. Some of the farmers are certified organic while others practice biologically-integrated pest management in order to reduce usage of chemicals.
Farmers from Heart of the City bring produce to the city from the regions surrounding San Francisco. While the average food in the US travels at least 1,500 miles from farm to plate, at Heart of the City food miles are reduced to an average of less than 200 miles.
The farmers who run Heart of the City Farmers’ Market strive to bring high-quality, fresh, and reasonably-priced food from local small farms to the heart of San Francisco's poorest urban neighborhoods, as well as to support sustainable, small-scale agriculture. We enable low-income residents to eat healthy on a budget and over 75% of EBT benefits (food stamps) used at San Francisco farmers markets are used here.
We are working to create a healthy Heart of the City through our "Healthy Heart of the City" campaign that includes nutrition education outreach with local schools, after-school programs, and supportive housing buildings and partnerships with local health organizations to make health resources available at the market.
Heart of the City Farmers’ Market began June 14, 1981, with only 14 farmers. The market has grown to an average of over 65 farmers and vendors and more than 8,000 consumers on a sunny day. Many of the original farmers that founded the market still attend. We take pride in the long-standing relationships and the family-like community we have built for farmers, vendors, and consumers.
The market was launched as a joint project of The Greater Market Street Development Association (GMDP) and the American Friends Service Committee’s Producer-Consumer Project. It was the intention of the Market Street Development Project to generate more people-related activity on Market Street, and to encourage a more positive use of the United Nations Plaza. Our initial grant to start this inner-city certified farmers’ market came from the State Direct Marketing Program of the Department of Food and Agriculture.
The market is a friendly, scenic setting for shopping and socializing, enhancing the surrounding neighborhoods. The market is benefits the community by boosting visitors and residents to the neighborhood and providing a source for the community to buy quality, fresh produce. Heart of the City fulfills a fundamental need for this community and has become a city institution that has been a central gathering place for neighborhood residents for three decades.
Heart of the City Farmers’ Market is a is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation and a California Certified Farmers' Market. California Certified Farmers' Markets are places where genuine farmers offer agricultural products they grow themselves for direct sale to the public.
For more information on certified markets, visit the California Certified Farmers' Market Program. Click here.
Since July 1, 1982, Heart of the City Certified Farmers Market has been an independent market run by a Community Board known as The Heart of the City Farmers Market Community Advisory Board. It is comprised of both farmers and community representatives who are elected by farmers and friends of the market. All board members serve for two year terms.
Heart of the City also provides services to the community through partnerships with area nonprofits, schools and public hospitals. Many schools throughout San Francisco bring students of all ages on field trips to meet the farmers and learn about agriculture, healthy eating and the importance of small, local farms.
Our current partners include:
The Feeling Good Project of the San Francisco Dept of Public Health
The market has received numerous awards over the years:
· Bay Guardian Best of the Bay Farmers Market – 2005, 2008, and 2009
If you would like to support the market, below are a list of items available for sale on market days. You can find these items in the middle of the United Nations Plaza at the Heart of the City Market Information Tent or Van. Any proceeds from the sale of the items listed go to the covering of operational costs of the market.
· Mesh Shopping Tote - $2.00
We appreciate your support!