Letter: Save the Farmers Market!

I am asking County Council to please support the Fairfield Farmers & Artisans Market by removing the rental fee recently implemented for the use of the building on market days. The market is an asset to citizens, farmers, and county businesses.

Fairfield County is a designated food desert, and the market is a way for citizens to access nutritious food. Every Saturday during the season, there are locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, freshly baked bread, preserves, honey, herbs, cheese, handmade gifts, art, and more. Vouchers are available for Senior Citizens to use to purchase food.

The Market is a place where people gather on Saturday mornings to purchase local foods and gifts, support farmers and businesses, socialize with neighbors, and occasionally listen to hometown musicians. When people come to town for the market, they visit shops and food establishments on Main Street as well. No other event in our county compares. The market is a win-win for all.

The farmers and artisans are not making enough profit to make it worthwhile to rent a building that is not up to code, is not air-conditioned, has no sprinkler system, and cannot be rented for other events. I question why, now, the county is implementing this fee when the market has used the building rent-free for years.

Other counties support, fund, and promote their farmers markets. It baffles and saddens me that our county administration and council are jeopardizing this wonderful little market.

I encourage each councilman and county official to visit the market to see what a valuable resource it is to citizens. Then decide if you really want to cause it to fail because of a ridiculous rental fee.

For the record, I am not a vendor. I visit the market each week, buy most of my groceries and gifts there, and feel it is the best thing going in our county.

I ask Council to do the right thing and eliminate the rental fee.

Laura Thomas


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