The continued operation of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market is in jeopardy due to objections raised by the Los Angeles Film School to the market’s footprint and its proximity to the school’s parking garage. Although the market will be allowed to continue in some fashion in the coming weeks, there are still serious concerns about its ability to continue into 2011, and if so, in what configuration.
The Hollywood Farmers’ Market is a vital part of Los Angeles’s food community: For nearly 20 years it has brought together farmers, ranchers, and other vendors every Sunday morning, and it has become a trusted resource and a hub of the community. Now, because of a dispute over access to a parking garage, approximately 150 vendors may lose their places at the market. Pompea Smith, the CEO of Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, estimates that this will result in an income loss of over $130,000 per week to vendors.
Despite the glamorous connotations of its name, the Hollywood Farmers’ Market has been a leader in making good food available to all by being an early participant in the food stamp (SNAP, now CalFresh) and WIC programs, by quickly adopting wireless EBT technology when it became available, and by donating leftover food from the market to those in need. The Hollywood market also helps SEE-LA operate markets in other historically underserved areas of the city, including Watts, South Central, Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills, Canoga Park, Echo Park, and East Hollywood.
Whether you’re a shopper who loves the market for its food and the the social connections it provides, a vendor for whom the market is a principal way of reaching your customers, or a local business who benefits from the increased traffic the market brings to the neighborhood every Sunday morning, rain or shine, now is the time to speak up.
Please join with Slow Food Los Angeles to contact the following officials and to let them know that the Hollywood Farmers’ Market is important to you, that it is important to the community, and that a permit should be issued to allow the market to continue to operate in its current location:
Honorable Eric Garcetti
President of the City Council
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Board of Public Works
Department of Public Works
200 North Spring Street, Room 361
Los Angeles, CA 90012
City of Los Angeles
PW/Bureau of Street Services
Attn: David Rivera
Investigation & Enforcement Division
1149 South Broadway, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90015
For more information about this dispute, we encourage you to read:
“Can One Business Shut Down the Hollywood Farmers’ Market?”