Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
Farmers Market Rx
This program is currently on a hiatus while we seek additional funding partners.Though New Orleans is rich in culinary traditions and boasts nutritionally dense local crops such as sweet potatoes and mirlitons, few residents eat a sufficient amount and variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain a healthy weight. Poor diet is a leading factor that contributes to high chronic disease in our community. Eleven percent of adults in the metro area have diabetes, and 64 percent are either overweight or obese. The Farmers Market Prescription Program (FMRx) aimed to serve those individuals.
The FMRx program served vulnerable residents in our community that needed additional nutrition education and incentives to help make healthier food choices for their families, thereby expanding access to fresh local fruits and vegetables for all. The program educated participants about the importance of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and assisted in reducing the risk of preventable health issues.
FMRx participants received prescriptions redeemable for fruits and vegetables at the Crescent City Farmers Market and at other local market partners. Participants attended community health group meetings to receive prescriptions. Group meetings consisted of recipe creation, cooking lessons, and overall healthy eating support.
New Orleans' Fit NOLA partnership
FMRx has been part of New Orleans' Fit NOLA initiative that helped create a healthier city by promoting physical activity and improved nutrition. An unhealthy diet is a leading factor contributing to the incidence of chronic disease and poor health outcomes in our community. The FMRx program developed out of the FitNOLA initiative through a partnership between New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, New Orleans Health Department, Louisiana Public Health Institute, and Market Umbrella. The program educated participants about the importance of including more fruits and vegetables in their diets and connected them to community resources, such as free fitness classes and information about other healthy food incentive programs. With each iteration of the program, we evaluate and redesign our service delivery model to improve both physical and mental health for New Orleans residents. As part of Fit NOLA, the FMRx partners have connected hundreds of households to healthy food and fitness options right in their own neighborhoods to help people make lasting changes for their families and communities.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.