Farmers’ markets offer alternatives for students with cupboards full of Kraft Dinner and Pop-Tarts.
The Humber College Farmers’ Market held on Feb. 24 in the student centre, was an opportunity for organizations to educate students on the importance of health and safeguarding the environment in Toronto.
The Toronto Vegetarian Association had a booth where vegetarian starter kits and flyers were provided for students.
“The vegetarian lifestyle is so healthy and natural,” said Industrial Design student Heather McDiarmit, 22. “It promotes locally sourced food. It is important for students to have access to that kind of information.”
The TVA offers this information to the public along with community resources to support active vegetarians and vegans, along with a directory that pinpoints restaurants in the city.
“Farmers’ Markets give the TVA an opportunity to let people, who already have a keen interest in food and healthy eating, know about the organization and the resources to help them make food choices that help the environment and animals,” said Donor and Resources Volunteer Coordinator Barbi Lazarus.
The Marketplace had a diversity of offerings, including clothing accessories, balms, apples, honey, foccacias, sauces and processed meats.
“I’m happy to be here and offer our products. It’s nice from a vendor’s perspective because we use the markets to get in front of these customers,” said co-founder of Saha International Cuisine, Rob Heidenreich.He said the connection students make with the vendors will help with their future entrepreneurial careers.
“It’s great to get in front of these kids at Humber and it’s good for students to see entrepreneurs and what they do,” Heindenrich said.
The monthly HSF Marketplace is in its first year and this past market was the first.
“I started the marketplace to open students’ eyes to locally grown products and to products that they can’t purchase at grocery stores,” said HSF Marketing Manager Priscilla DeMaria.
She said she hopes the Farmers’ Market will become more popular as it becomes a regular monthly event at Humber College’s north and lakeshore campuses, as many students are invested in making healthy life changes.
“Students are often eager to make changes in their lives,” said Lazarus.
She believes with many students living on their own for the first time, it is a good time to offer healthy food choices in a farmers’ market to promote sound life choices.