San Francisco residents who have yet to venture by Bartlett near 22nd on a Thursday between 4pm and 8pm may be surprised to see a touch of the bucolic in the generally bustling urban enclave. That’s when nature’s bounty is served up to a gathering of low-key Mission residents, in the form of the Mission Community Market, with everything from exotic mushrooms to bright-red strawberries on display.
MEDA favors the concept of produce being readily available to Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN) families. With the recent loss of Val’s 16 produce market at 16th and Valencia, plus the threat of losing Hwa Lei Market at 16th and Mission, the neighborhood has seen a trend of diminished access to low-cost, high-quality produce, in favor of more expensive food offerings that are not accessible to all incomes.
Mission Community Market’s goal is to provide the neighborhood with a space for people to gather, listen to music, purchase local crafts and partake in cooking demonstrations.
To get community input on ideas for neighborhood betterment, Mission Community Market decided to conduct a survey. Executive Director Rosi Bustamante knew that MEDA had conducted its own six-week neighborhood survey in spring 2014, ascertaining the needs of those living in the footprint of the MPN initiative.
Bustamante contacted the MEDA Workforce Development program, with staff ready to pre-screen surveyor candidates to streamline Mission Community Market’s hiring process. Seven MEDA clients were hired, including a lead. These bilingual surveyors from the community were better able to connect with respondents, who were 63.3% Latino, to hear what offerings they prefer at the Mission Community Market.
During this hiring process, a traffic monitor for the market was even brought on from MEDA’s client pool.
The exuberant workers have been conducting their 30-minute surveys with aplomb, frequenting the weekly market; they have also been making the rounds to gather feedback about neighborhood issues. This even occurred at a booth at yesterday’s “Mission Sunday Streets.”
Bustamante sums up her experience with the survey team as follows: “The surveyors’ level of enthusiasm and commitment resulted in our gathering great data. Their professionalism and adaptability allowed them to approach a diverse set of survey participants. Our team is actually quite proud of the great work the youth surveyors did.”