Mt. Madonna YMCA set to open two new produce markets

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Morgan Hill, Gilroy customers will pay wholesale prices for fresh fruits, vegetables

Scott Forstner
Morgan Hill Times

The Mount Madonna YMCA will open two new produce markets in Morgan Hill and Gilroy, where all produce will be sold at wholesale prices that are up to 50 percent lower than those available elsewhere, according to an Aug. 27 announcement by the YMCA of Silicon Valley.

“At the Y, we know finding affordable, fresh produce is a challenge for many South County residents,” said Kelly Ramirez, Executive Director at the Mt. Madonna YMCA. “By removing the financial barriers that prevent many people from embracing healthy fruits and vegetables, we can help build a stronger and healthier community.”

The Y’s two new markets, scheduled to open in early September, will be located at:

—The Senior Center in Gilroy (7371 Hanna St.) on Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. starting Sept. 9
—“The Movable Garden” produce cart on the Corner of Del Monte and Cosmos Avenue in Morgan Hill next to the Village Avante Apartments every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon starting Sept. 13.

According to the 2004 Santa Clara County Public Health Department and Behavior Risk Factor Survey, between 64 to 73 percent of South County adults are considered overweight or obese, and in Gilroy, the childhood obesity rate is more than 40 percent.

The produce markets were made possible via a grant from the Health Trust, which sponsors fresh produce in farmer’s markets and corner stores throughout the county, and in partnership with the City of Gilroy, City of Morgan Hill and Episcopal Senior Communities.

“The Health Trust is committed to making affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables available to all families,” said Carla Freeman, Program Officer at The Health Trust. “We are excited that fresh produce will now be available to more residents in Gilroy and Morgan Hill.”

In addition to the two new markets, the YMCA also runs a wholesale produce market at the Centennial Recreation Center (171 W. Edmundson Ave in Morgan Hill), which is open every Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Since opening in 2013, the Y’s CRC produce market has served an average of 184 participants per week, according to the press release.

“We are proud of the impact that our produce market has already had in our community and look forward to serving more families with our two newest markets,” Ramirez said. “I’d like to thank all of our partners for their commitment to help us promote healthy living throughout Gilroy and Morgan Hill.”