By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – A farmers market in Globeville is hoping to grow using a unique concept of allowing patrons to pay as they can. The Lost City Market started in early July after several organizations came together and noticed that the community needed more help getting fresh affordable food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(credit: CBS)

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“Our vision for this market is to be the most diverse, welcoming, and open market in all of Colorado,” said Matthew Vernon the Focus Points Family Resource Center Sr. Manager of social Enterprise. “When we noticed the community right around here was being hit the hardest with food access, losing jobs and really the major economic downturn that was happening right away.”

The Lost City coffee shop teamed up with Focus Points Family Resource Center and a handful of other organizations early on as the pandemic hit. The Denver Metro Emergency Food Network served over 250,000 free meals, but organizers realized there was another need.

Then the farmers market was born.

(credit: CBS)

Patrons can pay market rate for bread, fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat. Or they can pay more, less or nothing at all. People unable to pay are encouraged to volunteer at the event.

Lost City Market is held every Wednesday through October at 3459 Ringsby Ct. in Denver from 5 – 8 p.m

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“For myself I like to get organic produce from local farmers, I like the bread they bring. It’s really delicious,” said Silvia Hernandez, a volunteer. Hernandez has worked at the Comal food incubator associated with Focus Points for a few years.

“This community, we don’t really have resources, I am part of the community. I live in Swansea, so we don’t really have markets close where we can go buy this kind of produce that they bring here,” she said.

Hernandez says she posts to social media every Wednesday to encourage others to participate. Usually friends ask how the payment system works.

“’What do you mean we pay as we can?’ and then I explain what it means. Like really you come and if you don’t have money to buy those things you can pay whatever you have,” Hernandez said.

(credit: CBS)

The first market saw a about 30 people show up to buy goods. Just three weeks in and more than 100 people, from all walks of life, attended the farmers market on Wednesday.

“COVID really shone a spotlight on the needs around Denver and our neighbors who are looking for the most support right now,” Vernon said. “Just being able to see happy faces come in and leave just joyful with fresh healthy food grown local as much as possible.”

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Jeff Todd