BREADA provides grant support to small farmers who experience loss from both natural disasters and personal tragedies. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, BREADA raised over $300,000 to assist family farmers affected by the storms. We also provide financial assistance to our farmers who experience personal health problems or situations that prevent them from working for a period of time.
Red Stick Farmers is a producer-only market, which ensures that all produce sold at the market is grown locally by each farmer. During peak seasons, we operate up to 5 weekly locations of the Red Stick Farmers Markets. The Markets provide vital economic opportunities for local farmers, keeping our local food system healthy, strong and vibrant.
Main Street Market, located in downtown Baton Rouge, features locally owned restaurants and specialty shops housed in a public marketplace setting. Main Street Market is open Monday through Saturday serving coffee, breakfast and lunch for downtown residents, workers and visitors. Validated parking is available in the Galvez garage.
Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market began as a new program in 2012 to serve neighborhoods in North and Old South Baton Rouge with limited access to fresh food. With the assistance of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Challenge for Healthier Louisiana Grant, we were able to acquire and retrofit a mobile unit to connect residents with fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers. Other partners in the project included Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Healthy BR, Chase Bank, Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, the Pennington Foundation and the Office of Community Development.
Children ages 2-12 learn where their food comes from through fun food-related activities at the Farmers Market that connects them to local farmers and agriculture. Parents can sign their children up for the ‘kids club’ at any Farmers Market location. Kids receive a market tote bag and $2 in market tokens to spend with local farmers. Each time they visit the Market, they receive a kid-friendly recipe card and an additional $2 in market tokens. To date, over 2900 kids have joined the Sprouts program and have been empowered to make their own healthy food choices.
All of our farmers markets are equipped to accept SNAP (Louisiana Purchase card), WIC and Senior Nutrition Farmers Market coupons. Our Red Stick Rewards program increases SNAP customers’ buying power for fresh, healthy food by matching purchases dollar for dollar up to $15. The Rewards program has the dual benefit of increasing fresh food access for low income families and providing additional income for small farmers. The Red Stick Rewards program is generously funded by Louisiana Healthcare Connections.
The Markets offer cooking demonstrations, food sampling and recipe cards to encourage shoppers to buy fresh, local produce. Saturday’s Fresh from the Market cooking demonstration invites local chefs to present seasonal recipes and introduce shoppers to different products found at the Farmers Market. The cooking demonstration begins at 10 am each Saturday inside the North Street seating area of Main Street Market.
The Farm to Table Tops project occurs every three years and provides critical support to sustain and grow your market. It is a lively multi-disciplinary summer experience that introduces and educates children about Louisiana’s local food system while strengthening their artistic talent. The program includes an interactive farm tour, cooking and nutrition classes, and hands on art education resulting in the production of 50 artistically designed custom tables to be displayed in Main Street Market.