Farmers’ Markets planned for September, November

- Erik Scheel Photo/Pexels

SAFFORD — The Gila Valley Food Coalition wants to get healthier food in front of residents, and they believe the best way to do that is by having a party.

Two parties, in fact.

The Gila Valley Food Coalition has requested approval from the City of Safford to conduct two farmers’ markets on Main Street.

The first will take place Saturday, Sept. 11, and the second Saturday, Nov. 6. Both will take place on the 400 and 500 blocks of Main Street, closing those blocks to traffic from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Creating healthy food options are essential for much of the Gila Valley. Other than Safford and Thatcher, the other areas are considered a food desert — areas without a grocery store providing healthy choices.

However, Safford and Thatcher also face a challenge.

“We also have the conflict of a food swamp, which is oversaturated areas with a lot of drive-through, a lot of fast food, a lot of what I was talking about, where there’s a high availability of unhealthy food, but really low availability of healthy food. And that’s what we call a food swamp,” said Kathryn Williams, who heads up the Gila Valley Food Coalition.

The Safford City Council will consider the Food Coalition’s special event applications at Monday’s regular meeting.