Fighting food inflation with heavily discounted fruits and vegetables while giving back to the community
At a time when food security and inflation are front and centre, the annual Fall Harvest Sale couldn’t have come at a better time.
And now in a new location where it can grow even bigger, the 47th edition of the popular fruits and vegetable market is better than ever, says TJ Crafter, president of the Calgary Produce Marketing Association (PMA).
The sale used to be held annually at Heritage Park, but this year it will be held at Stampede Park’s BMO Centre.
“It’s a massive change for us. We’re trying to see how big we can make it, not because we want to be in the Guinness Book of Records, but because we’re trying to see how big we can make this to give back to the community,” Crafter says.
“The PMA inspires the community to have fresh fruits and vegetables on their plates with every meal. The Fall Harvest Sale is a celebration of the bounty provided by our farmers and producers and encourages families to eat more fresh food.”
A win-win situation
The event is almost entirely volunteer-run, with 300 people putting in more than 2,500 hours. Proceeds go to various local charities, including the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Community Kitchen Program of Calgary.
“This started with the desire for people to give back to the community as a local, grassroots effort,” Crafter says.
Not only do Calgarians get affordable fruits and vegetables at a time when food prices are skyrocketing, but local organizations reap the benefits as well.
“When we talk about growing, we look at it as the larger we can grow the sale, the more money we can give back to the community,” Crafter says.
Affordable fruits and vegetables galore
With most produce being donated by partners and members, visitors will be able to take advantage of some heavily discounted fruits and vegetables.
The available produce is coming from several different sources, including California, Washington, British Columbia, and right here in Alberta.
“It’s also about getting more fruits and vegetables directly into the hands of the youth in our community. If we can help mom and dad convince youth to eat more produce, they’re going to keep doing that as they grow into young adults,” Crafter says.
“Then hopefully they pass that down to their kids, and in turn we end up with a healthier society.”
The prices are so affordable, Crafter says people often stock up on fruits and vegetables for their families, or some canners take advantage of the prices so they store their goods for the year.
“Anybody that is into fruit or vegetable products will enjoy this sale. Everything you see at the grocery store, we are buying directly from those vendors,” Crafter says, adding the sale is for everyone from small to large families.
“Whether you want two apples or a case of apples, there’s something to fit the needs of everybody.”
The gritty details
The Calgary PMA encourages visitors to bring a friend, a wagon, shopping bags, and get ready to stock up and save. There is on-site parking available for a fee, or attendees can take transit.
General admission tickets are $10 daily, plus fees, or a two-day pass for $15, plus fees,
The event runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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