The Capital Market of 20743 takes place in Capitol Heights, Maryland hosted by partners with Gethsemane United Methodists Church to deliver the market. Organizers are residents of Capitol Heights and surrounding areas. Mary & Main is a local dispensary also partnering with the Capital Market that cares a lot about giving back to the community and helping people connect. Capital Market is dedicated to creating educational programs as well as small business development and fresh, local produce for the community in and around 20743.
The biggest reason for creating the Capital Market of 20743 was in response to food apartheid happening in Capitol Heights, Maryland. While other communities have an abundance of restaurants, takeaways, and grocers, the last grocery store closed in Capitol Heights creating a disparity of opportunity and access to food for residents. The mission of Capital Market is to create access to food in response to community victimization in the forms of marginalization, food redlining, and divestment of food sources from the community. The market seeks to advocate for increased land ownership for Black farmers, support Black businesses, and create food stories and foodways for the community that builds on itself, creating a sustainable source of food from within the community.
Food Justice Coalition
The Food Justice Coalition of 20743 was formed three years ago. They were frustrated by the last grocery store closing. This was years in the making but truly has been a systemic issue for decades in communities of color all across America. To have a space of their own was important and thus the farmer’s market was born. The mission to support the Capital Market is not just about visiting a farmer’s market. It is about reconnecting to a cultural legacy of African American and Indigenous Earthkeeping. This requires a reimagining of communities as just and equitable spaces as well as rebuilding food systems to value and respect ancestral ways of life and creating legacies for future generations.
Support the Market
By supporting the Capital Market, the community also supports emerging business development including vendors, distributors, and collaborators. The income created stays within the community to keep growing opportunities from within. Teams also work hard at produce buyback through a program that buys unsold produce from farm partners to coordinate with local partners including churches and ministries that distribute food to seniors and those in need. Local farmers reduce food waste and trash by giving it for a greater purpose.
Education holds a high value at Mary & Main and the Capital Market. Cultural ties and connections are important to the community and integral to the success of the market. Renewed investment in communities for Black people by Black people creates better access to medical care, improved schools, affordable housing, and of course, food which has been routinely stripped from them for centuries.
Money from the market is reinvested back into the community, creating a positive cycle of investment that has a widespread impact. Check out the market from June to October on the 2nd and 4th Fridays hosted by Mary & Main. The Capital Market of 20743 facilitates the market and organizes vendors.
For more information on why farmer’s markets are so important, take a listen to “The Main Line” podcast series.