Above: The farm stand will be in the BCG-owned lot at the corner of Lecky Avenue and Brighton Road.
by Kelsey Shea
A new farm stand in Brightwood will fill the lot at the corner of Lecky Avenue and Brighton Road with fresh fruits and vegetables this summer.
The Brightwood Civic Group and the Farm Stand Project have chosen 3237 Brighton Road as the site for a weekly farm stand that will bring fresh produce to the residents of the upper Northside.
“I think it’s going to be a huge, huge addition to the neighborhood,” said Mel Gallagher, Program Manager at BCG.
June 19-November 20, the farm stand will be set up to sell fruits and vegetables each Wednesday from 2-6 p.m. and provide health programming like chef demonstrations.
Unlike farmers markets, Gallagher explained, farm stands aren’t done directly through farmers, so there isn’t a retail price mark up on the produce.
Farm stand prices will be significantly cheaper than grocery stores and farmers markets, and the stand is open to anyone. The farmers stand will accept cash, EBT cards, senior food stamps and checks distributed to those enrolled in the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition program that can only be used at farmers markets.
“Many times, these WIC checks go unused because mothers don’t have access to these farmers markets and farm stands,” said Vicki Lish, Farm Stand Coordinator at the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. “We are creating a greater access in these communities.”
The location on Brighton Road was chosen specifically because of its proximity to a bus line and the major intersection of Woods Run Avenue and Brighton Road.
“Brightwood already owned the lot and we had already started greening the space,” explained Gallagher. “We thought, ‘this will be a great fit.’”
The Farm Stand Project is a program of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank that brings farm-fresh food to areas they consider “food deserts,” or neighborhoods without accessible grocery stores.
Though Brightwood has a Kuhn’s Market on Highwood Street, it is at the opposite end of the neighborhood from the farm stand, and a difficult walk for residents without cars.
“People are really excited,” said Gallagher.