Newtown Farmers Market

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

The Newtown Nation Inc.
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Newtown Farmers Market provides a variety of locally-made goods, fresh fruits & vegetables.


raised by 2 people

$50,000 goal

Big Mama's Collard Greens Fest recognized by Sarasota Government

Update posted 2 years ago

Congratulations to Big Mama’s Collard Greens Fest! The fifth annual event was held Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021,  and was another successful celebration showcasing the best-tasting family collard greens recipes in the area. Mayor Hagen Brody, Commissioner Battie and the City Commission recognized this fun, free community event that invites Newtown residents to showcase their cooking skills with a friendly competition. Already looking forward to next year's event!

The Newtown Nation started the Newtown Farmers Market on January 18, 2016. Newtown met the criteria for designation as a food desert — an urban area in which affordable, good-quality fresh food is not available. The goal of the market is to provide affordable, healthy, high-quality foods for people who live and work in Newtown.

The Newtown Farmers Market is the Newtown Nation's first concrete project implemented to meet the social and economic needs of the Newtown Community. In addition to providing healthy affordable food, another major goal of The Market is to foster redistribution of food dollars to remain within the community. 

It is estimated that over $2.5 million of federal dollars allocated to benefit Newtown residents are spent outside the community. The Newtown Nation intends to capture these "social dollars" so that they will remain in the community to advance economic development and pride. The Farmers Market is but one effort toward this larger goal.

Through a grant from Florida State University, a  kick-off market was held on January 18, 2016, in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Through this grant and support from board members and friends,  We started out holding 2 markets a month, on the 1st and the 3rd weekend. In 2017 we expanded the market to open each weekend.

The City of Sarasota has highlighted and will continue to support our market in its publication.  On Newtown Nation One Year Adversary we received Proclamations from state and national elected officials.

The Newtown Nation has formed a relationship with New College of Florida, the Unitarian Universalist Church and The Housing Authority.  Our board and college students have volunteered at the market. We have and are doing outreach in the community.

Based on the 2020 Census data, the population of North Sarasota, including Newtown is 6,982, of which 32 percent is below the poverty level  (The poverty level is not adjusted to exclude parts of downtown Sarasota, the Ringling  College area and another significant medium- to high-income areas which are also in North Sarasota). 

The Farmer's Market is located in Newtown, the highest density, low-income area of Newtown.  In 2016 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Newtown Nation permission to accept Electronic Benefit Cards and Food Stamps at the Farmers Market.

Through our participation with The New College of Florida, we will develop and measure specific outcomes to include the ratio of food cost to market revenues, EBT/Food Stamps captured, customer satisfaction with produce sold at market. The market has been well received by everyone who came and purchased produce.

To learn more about the Newtown Farmers Market please visit


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