Farmers markets add value to the communities they serve by selling directly to consumers, reducing the cost of a middleman, and allowing consumers to enjoy fresh, seasonally-grown food that were produced close to their homes. Local, fresh food is also more likely to foster health and prevent illness than heavily processed foods.
In 2011, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center teamed up with Allston Village Main Streets and the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation to create the Allston Village Farmers Market. Funded by the St. Elizabeth’s Community Benefits program, the market runs on Saturdays from May through September. The hospital additionally utilizes the weekly market as an opportunity to promote and address healthy nutrition within the local community. This year, in partnership with the Boston University’s Dietetic Internship program, St. Elizabeth's will provide nutritional information, healthy recipes, healthy food samples, and cooking demonstrations. St. Elizabeth's also provides blood pressure screenings and information about high blood pressure, weight management, and diabetes management over the course of 20 weeks.