Generations of Healthy Eating

Meet Rochelle Crespo, farmers market shopper

The Food Trust's 25th anniversary spotlight, picture of rochelle crespo, farmers market shopper

25 years, 25 stories

Rochelle Crespo’s parents thought healthy eating was important. There weren’t a lot of choices in their Philadelphia neighborhood when Rochelle was growing up in the 1970s, but the family regularly traveled to the Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market for healthy, affordable foods. As a teenager, Rochelle admits, she didn’t always appreciate their efforts, but when she had kids of her own, she recognized its value. “I wanted them to be healthy,” Rochelle says, “so I needed to provide healthy options for them.”

When Rochelle and her young family moved to West Philadelphia’s Cedar Park neighborhood in 2003, that became a little easier: The Food Trust’s Clark Park Farmers Market was just a few blocks away. Rochelle and her seven children became regulars at the market, forming relationships with the farmers who introduce the family to new foods. (Just this summer, Rochelle discovered locally grown black-eyed peas straight from the pod. “It was just amazing,” she says.)

Because Clark Park market accepts WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers and SNAP (food stamp) benefits, and offers Philly Food Bucks to help those SNAP dollars go further, Rochelle could shop for healthy food at the farmers market even when money was tight. “It made a difference,” she says. “Your diet affects your life in so many ways.”

When Rochelle’s oldest daughter went off to college, she took that lesson with her, shopping at a farmers market near campus. Rochelle pointed one out to her eldest son, too, when she dropped him off at school. “You can't go wrong spending your money at the farmers market,” she says.

Rochelle Crespo is one of thousands of customers who support The Food Trust’s farmers markets. Find a farmers market near you. 

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This interview is part of our weekly "25 Years, 25 Stories" series, spotlighting some of The Food Trust's diverse voices in healthy food access. If you would like to support our work, click here to make a tax-deductible donation today.

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