SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Neighbors on the south side of Syracuse live in a food desert, which means many people have few to zero options for healthy and affordable foods. However, advocates are trying to change that.

On the first Sunday of every month, you’ll find tents full of fresh produce at Valley Plaza on South Salina Street.

There hasn’t been a full-service grocery store in the plaza since Top’s Supermarket shut its doors back in 2018. The closure has made it more of a challenge for neighbors to buy the bare necessities.

The monthly farm stand hosted by the Food Access Healthy Neighborhoods (FAHN) group is making sure neighbors have access to fresh produce within walking distance of their homes.

“Syracuse, New York is the home of the most impoverished children in the United States of America. A lot of those kids are right here in this community. We don’t have a grocery store for those children, those families, the folks that don’t have cars…That’s really unfair. We want a grocery store in our neighborhood just like all other areas have grocery stores in their neighborhood.”


The City of Syracuse says it’s still working to find the right grocer willing to come into the space. There hasn’t been any luck, but organizers hope the farm stand sends an important message to lawmakers about the need for a grocery store.

We know that this is a top priority for the neighborhood and bringing in fresh produce is a top priority for the city as well. What we’re continuing to do is if we can identify the right partner, we’re going to continue to do that. We are committed to doing so as long as it takes, and that’s why this is such an important day for doing events like this one.


The farm stand will take place the first Sunday of every month from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. until October.

Organizers are looking to add more fresh produce vendors to the event. If you’re interested, email ‘’ for more information.