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Chinatown Gets A Much-Needed Farmers Market

A woman carrying a bag shops for green produce at a farmers market. Other shoppers can be seen in the background.
The L.A. River Farmers' Market made its debut on May 26.
(Marv Watson
Courtesy of The LA River Farmers' Market )
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A new and much-needed farmer's market has arrived at Los Angeles Historic State Park, adjacent to the Chinatown Gold Line station.

The L.A. River Farmers' Market kicked off yesterday afternoon and will run every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parking is free, and vendors accept WIC and EBT Cards.

Chinatown is home to several bustling restaurants. But it's become a food desert since the last grocery store, Ai Hoa Market, closed in 2019.

The market's co-founder, Elizabeth Pezza, acknowledges that. She says the market will provide a "needed service" to residents of nearby Chinatown, who need more access to fresh and local produce.

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"This is a market for everyone," Pezza said. "We've worked really hard to provide services that make the market more accessible and more equitable. So not only is the market located in a place that is easily accessible by foot [or] by bike, it's right next to the Metro station."

Community organizations such as the Chinatown Service Center, The API Forward Movement, Now Serving, Metabolic Studios, the Chinese American Museum and others will also be participating in the market on a periodic basis.

A dragon dance at the L.A. River Farmers' Market
(Marv Watson
Courtesy of the LA River Farmers' Market)

"This will have so many benefits for our neighborhood," Pezza said. "It will boost the economy by featuring local vendors, local businesses [and] it will include local social services."

Pezza says the market currently has about 30 vendors, but it has plenty of room to grow and organizers plan to do just that. She's encouraging vendors to apply.

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