With our Connecticut farmers market season heating up, we wanted to shine the spotlight on some incredible local fresh produce available in Bridgeport. 

Gina Smith, the Manager of Community Health Improvement for Bridgeport Hospital, is an active participant in the Health Improvement Alliance (HIA) and is thrilled to collaborate with Food Rescue US. 

HIA was formed in 2003 to address the health needs of the Greater Bridgeport community, including the seven towns of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Milford, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull. HIA is a voluntary group comprised of multiple subcommittees that meet several times per month to collaborate, talk, share stories and lessons, learn from one another, and advance healthy living options for our community. Bridgeport Hospital and St. Vincent’s Medical Center are founding members and also co-chair the work of HIA.

HIA is involved in community health in a number of ways, but below is a program that Gina highlighted that is extremely relevant for our Food as Medicine theme:

Did you know there are NINE farmers markets in Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative?

  • All nine farmers markets accept and double SNAP, as well as Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Senior, and WIC checks. They even have their own community currency called Bridgeport Bucks (Bridgeport Bucks are $5 vouchers anyone can access at thesemarkets to offset the cost of their groceries.)
  • The markets are spread out through the week and across the city to make them as accessible as possible.
  • The markets often host food demonstrations by local experts on how to cook and eat healthy (led by local chefs, dieticians, etc.)
  • The markets not only provide food but educate about local produce, when it is available, how to cook it, recipes, etc.

Takina Pollock Shafer, Director of the Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative, commented, “With inflation and the cost of groceries always rising, BFMC exists to help combat nutrition insecurity in our communities by providing people direct access to fresh, CT Grown produce at Bridgeport’s farmers markets.” 

So, come out and support these amazing causes. Come enjoy one (or more) of the nine  Bridgeport Farmers’ Markets, enjoy the abundance of fresh local produce, and help these markets thrive! 


Michelle Colman

Food Rescue US – Fairfield County Food as Medicine Liaison

Trunk of Car Filled with Fresh Produce from the Farmer's Market

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A group of volunteers pose with rescued produce at a farmers market