Farmers’ markets provide customers an abundance of fresh produce, but two Salt Lake County markets that primarily serve refugees also create cultural connections through food.
The markets are run by the International Rescue Committee as part of its mission to support immigrants as they establish new lives in the United States. The produce is grown by refugee farmers at the organization’s two farm sites in West Valley City and Draper.
The refugee advocacy group started its New Roots program in 2010. Executive Director Natalie El-Deiry said the markets are meant to provide neighborhoods located in food deserts with access to fresh produce. The farming component of the program gives refugees a way to make extra money and start them on an entrepreneurial path.
The International Rescue Committee holds two farmers markets in South Salt Lake and Millcreek where they also offer free, nonperishable foods to their customers. The nonprofit plans to open a third market next year.
Editor’s Note: The International Rescue Committee will benefit from KUER’s upcoming fall fund drive as a social good partner.
Rocio is coming to KUER after spending most of her life under the blistering Las Vegas sun and later Phoenix. She earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish at the University of Nevada, Reno. She did brief stints at The Associated Press, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Reno Public Radio. She enjoys wandering through life with her husband and their toy poodle.