Skip to content

Pop-up markets boosted health in East Richmond, says report

Urban Bounty offered fresh produce at the Hamilton Community Centre in 2022 and 2023.
Urban Bounty and Hamilton Community Association held weekly pop-up markets in 2022 and 2023.

A research study in the Hamilton neighbourhood found that better access to fresh produce improved the physical and mental health of local residents.

Pop-up markets were held in Hamilton in 2022 and 2023, offering fresh produce every Saturday to community members.

The market initiative also included the Market Greens RX Program, a research study that subsidized produce purchases over 15 weeks for people with diet-related health challenges and limited food budgets.

The study, created by Community Food Centres Canada and facilitated by Urban Bounty and Hamilton Community Association, aimed to evaluate and measure the impact of access to fruit and vegetables on community health.

More than 80 per cent of participants reported consuming "significantly" more fresh produce since they started the program, according to the City of Richmond's 2022 to 2023 progress update on its community wellness strategy published this month.

The survey results also showed 71 per cent of participants saw improvements in physical health, while 47 per cent said their mental health improved.

About 79 per cent of participants said the program helped them make ends meet financially.

Eligibility for the program was limited to those managing diet-related health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and experiencing regular gaps in accessing healthy and fresh foods.

Participants were either self-enrolled or received a referral from a health professional.

Got an opinion on this story or any others in Richmond? Send us a letter or email your thoughts or story tips to [email protected]. To stay updated on Richmond news, sign up for our daily headline newsletter.