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Shaniqua Lyons and her children

For Shonny Lyons, WakeMed Farmers Market Delivers

Shaniqua “Shonny” Lyons has been coming to the WakeMed Farmers Market for the past two years because it offers her and her children access to fresh, locally grown produce. This is important to Shonny and her family because prior to the WakeMed Farmers Market, they didn’t really have other, healthy options close to where they lived:

Coming here has helped us because the other farmers markets are too far for us to travel to – especially with the little ones and the heat in the summertime.

Shonny is one of countless other Raleigh residents who live in one of the 340+ food deserts throughout North Carolina. Being in a food desert means that supermarkets are inconveniently out of reach, forcing residents to travel farther in order to find healthier food choices. This can be a problem for those who are on fixed or limited incomes or who lack the transportation to travel outside of their neighborhood.

Finding Convenience; Healthier Options Closer to Home

Located in the heart of a food desert, the WakeMed Farmers Market aims to serve the local community by offering access to fresh, locally grown produce as well as other health and wellness crafts, cooking demonstrations, and more. Through our partnership with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, we also offer: EBT matching, free bus passes to patrons and free setup/breakdown for vendors – all in support of promoting healthier families and a healthier community.

Shonny lives a mere 5 minutes away from the WakeMed Raleigh Campus and says she looks forward to shopping at the WakeMed Farmers Market versus having to travel farther away. She also enjoys the Farmers Market for the ability to network and chat with the actual people who produce the food she buys for her and her children:

The WakeMed Farmers Market was everything I imagined it would be, plus more because I got to meet a lot of good people out here through the vendors. It has also opened my eyes to other opportunities to maybe, one day, becoming a vendor (because I’m an artist).

purple thai basil

Promoting Better Health with Better Access to Healthier Food

As a community hospital, WakeMed aims to serve the Triangle community through compassionate, professional care that goes above and beyond to help Triangle residents lead healthier, higher quality lives. For residents, like Shonny, coming to the WakeMed Farmers Market isn’t just about the food; it’s about the total experience of bringing people together, sharing knowledge about healthy eating, and more: 

The Farmers Market has helped me find good produce close to home, which is especially important because we’re vegetarians. Since I’ve been coming here, it’s also  given me a lot of information with different ideas – like the fizzy drinks or yogurts – just different snack ideas you can have at home.

Visit the WakeMed Farmers Market at the Raleigh Campus every Tuesday between 10 am – 2 pm from now until August 23rd. Interested in participating as a vendor, or simply want more information? Email us at: