“Access to Quality Food is a Right”
Meet Lindsey Shapiro and Landon Jefferies, farmers of Root Mass Farm
25 years, 25 stories
For Lindsey Shapiro of Root Mass Farm, farmers markets are about much more than selling produce; they are about conversation. “You just get to meet so many people,” Lindsey says of the Food Trust markets where she and her partner, Landon Jefferies, have been vending for the past six years. “It gives us an opportunity to get a lot of important feedback about customer preferences, and quality and taste,” she says. “It also gives us the opportunity to talk to people about the work that we do, and why we are trying to make our living growing food.”
Lindsey and Landon grow vegetables, fruits and herbs on a small plot in Berks County, an hour and a half northwest of Philadelphia, because they believe in the power of farmers markets to bring healthy food into communities where it is otherwise difficult to find. Like most vendors at The Food Trust’s markets, Root Mass Farm accepts SNAP (food stamp) payments and Philly Food Bucks, healthy food incentive coupons developed by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and The Food Trust to make produce more affordable to SNAP recipients. “We have a lot of customers at our Tuesday market who, when they run out of SNAP benefits at the end of the month, are still able to purchase fresh food because they've been saving up their Food Bucks,” Lindsey says. “It really does allow people to stretch their food dollars.”
“The Food Trust is ambitious about trying to grow farmers markets in neighborhoods in areas of the city where you wouldn’t necessarily think a farmers market could work because of the income level,” she adds. “That is important to us.”
Lindsey Shapiro and Landon Jefferies are two of 55 farmers who participate in The Food Trust’s 22 farmers markets. Learn more about The Food Trust’s Farmers Market Program.