The state’s first farmers market located at a federally qualified health center is now open in Orangeburg.
The Right Choice Fresh Start Farmers’ Market is designed to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables to medically underserved patients. The market is supported by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant to the University of South Carolina’s Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. It is part of the national cancer prevention and control research network, one of 10 projects nationally.
The center held a grand opening ceremony Friday.
University of South Carolina social work professor Darcy Freedman led the effort to create the market. Freedman said the goal is to increase access to healthy food options for people in rural communities and to link health promotion and economic development.
Researchers are also examining the influence of the market on patients at the health center, including how, or if, it influences their diet. They are specifically tracking patients with diabetes, as well as are looking at the economic impact of the market on farmers.