The Allen Neighborhood Center is home to the only farmers market open year-round in the Lansing area. It provides fresh produce and goods to locals within walking distance from their homes.
The market on Kalamazoo Street is open from 3–6:30 p.m. from October–May and 3–7 p.m. from May–September.
Every Wednesday, community members can go and purchase foods that are locally sourced for low prices. Yet, the produce is not the only thing offered at the center.
“[It] is a place-based organization that serves as a hub for neighborhood revitalization and for activities that promote the health and well-being of Lansing’s Eastside community and other stakeholders,” the organization states on its website.
The center provides various personalized activities for people of all backgrounds, including food insecurity and nutrition education programs, health and fitness training and after-school programs.
Rebecca Anthony is a Lansing resident and a farmers market regular. She said the center’s health services have benefited the community.
“I think the redevelopment of the building has brought a lot of vitality to the area … the parking lot is frequently full,’ Anthony said. “I am really grateful for the access to this resource. I really think [that the clinic is] a valuable addition to the area. I heard there is going to be a pharmacy as well.”
The center also allows community members to promote their causes at the market.
“We offer to different nonprofit … or community organizations the opportunity to come here and have a table to let folks learn about whatever it is they are offering,” Allen Farmers Market Manager Jenny Wagemann said.
Last Wednesday, Ranked Choice Voting for Michigan had a booth at the market. They collected signatures supporting their goal of eliminating primaries to allow more candidates on ballots.
“You can vote for the candidate you most align with without worrying about wasting your vote,” Ranked Choice Voting advocate Julie Vandenboom said.
The Allen Neighborhood Center provides a variety of ways to get involved in and support the community. To learn more, you can visit their website.