Pay-what-you-can produce market sets its roots in Pointe-Saint-Charles
A produce market can be found twice per week on Fortune Street in Pointe-Saint-Charles — but shopping there ironically won’t cost a fortune since consumers only pay what they are able to afford.
Share the Warmth, a not-for-profit organization, is behind the new project. For the past three weeks on Tuesdays evenings and Friday afternoons, a fresh produce market is open to the public.
Local and exotic fruits and vegetables are up for sale, but shoppers purchase their goods using a pay-what-you-can method.
“The idea behind the pay-what-you-can model is people are able to access healthy food and they can pay according to their budget,” food security administrative assistant for Share the Warmth Kimber Fellows said.
Oranges, pineapples, lettuce and kiwis can all be found, marked with a suggested price. Shoppers are invited to pay what they are able to based on their budget.
With its 29 years in Montreal, Share the Warmth is known for its work in the community. This new venture, which started last year as a pilot project, is meant for everyone and anyone to enjoy, executive director Fiona Crossling said.
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“We really want to have a healthy social mix of people from the neighbourhood,” she said.
“Neighbours whether they are high , low or medium income.”
The market has only been open for three weeks this summer — but it has already amassed a lot of attention in the area. An estimated 110 people frequent the market when it is open, Crossling said.
David Gilberts only noticed the market sign when while he was walking.
“I was like well ‘I got some cash on me I’ll go check it out and I’m glad I did,'” Gilberts said.
Gilberts said he spent only loose change, but left the market with a full bag.
“I got a ton of fruits and vegetables and it was only five dollars,” he said.
“I mean that’s going to last me a week.”
All the produce is donated from local farms and grocery stores. Fellows said discarded fruits and vegetables that are considered to be ugly, but still good to eat, are also sold at the market.
All profits that are made from sales are put back into the market. Last year, the market welcomed over 2,000 people at the market during the summer and thanks to the extra funds, it was able to stay open two days a week, Fellows said.
The market is open from July 10 to Nov. 2, on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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