South Bay : Markets Bring a Bounty of Produce to the Inner City

Ripe tomatoes, fresh zucchini and juicy grapes are now plentiful in several inner-city communities where they were once scarce.

The new Market Basket service has made produce more accessible and affordable to residents in Harbor Gateway and Gardena by setting up three sites where they can pick up baskets of fruits and vegetables. Participants in the program subscribe to the service for $7 per week and get a full basket each Saturday. Other customers can also buy the produce.

Sponsored by the UCLA Department of Urban Planning, the Southland Farmers Market Assn. and Gardena Human Services, the program is the first in the country to connect low-income communities with local produce growers through farmers markets, according to Robert Gottlieb, a UCLA urban planning lecturer and co-founder of Market Basket.

The program was created in response to numerous studies that have shown that inner-city residents don’t eat much produce because the items in local grocery stores are expensive and of poor quality. The program may eventually provide delivery service to people who can’t get to the sites themselves and expand to additional sites throughout Los Angeles.


Information: (310) 825-1067.