Celebrating 20 years of serving the community, the Bellevue Farmers Market (BFM) is back on May 18 at the Bellevue Presbyterian Church and plans to host a market every Thursday until October 19. The market features seasonal fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, fresh meats, expertly crafted and small batch foods, and tasty cuisine. This year’s event will showcase over 50 rotating vendors, including Goldilocks Farms, Zylberschtein's Delicatessen, Isidro's Authentic Mexican Food, Bow Hills Blueberries and more. Nonprofit booths and live music will also be on-site.
Liz Paruchuru, BFM’s marketing director, has been at the organization since 2019 and has seen how much the market has evolved to meet the community needs. She mentioned that overtime, they’ve sought out vendors based on recommendations and requests from attendees every year.
“We cater our vendors to the community because meeting their needs is ingrained in our mission,” Paruchuru said. “We’ve also been able to elevate our important programs like the POP Club and SNAP Market Match to help educate people on the power of buying local and making fresh foods accessible for all.”
The POP Club is designed to empower kids to make healthy food choices and introduce them to where food comes from. Kids who join the program can participate in the Two Bite Challenge, an opportunity to try out a new fruit/vegetable and earn $2 in market tokens to spend on produce. Activities are also offered and are typically based around food nutrition, healthy living, and gardening.
Fresh food access for Bellevue residents is another important mission for BFM, that’s why they work with vendors and social service providers to offer a variety of payment options like the SNAP Market Match. It’s described as a statewide nutrition incentive program that helps low-income families and individuals increase their ability to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers markets. EBT or P-EBT card users will earn up to $25 for each market day when they spend their funds.
“Bellevue Farmers Market exists to serve our Bellevue neighbors and strengthen small farming businesses, educate, and provide residents with access to highly nutritious, locally produced food,” Paruchuru said. “After 20 years, we’re still a super grassroot market with one and a half staff and an army of volunteers and partners who make this event possible – we’re thankful for their support.”
She exclaimed that companies and organizations like Amazon, PACCAR, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Aegis Living and other partners are fundamental to executing the BFM successfully.
“It’s such a gift to be part of this mission-based organization and help gather vendors, organizations and the community together all in one place – we’re excited to make this event happen once again,” Paruchuru said.
The Bellevue Farmers Market will begin at 3p.m. on May 18, featuring a ribbon cutting ceremony, giveaways and more. If you’re a market enthusiast, we also recommend going to their Farmers Market in The Spring District happening every first Wednesday of the month. More information can be found on their website at bellevuefarmersmarket.org.
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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Bellevue Farmers Market 1717 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue, WA 98004