Model Neighborhood Program

Model Neighborhood Program

Mission Statement

The Model Neighborhood Program (MNP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit neighborhood improvement organization dedicated to vitalizing the community by providing direct support through its Certified Farmers’ Markets and nutrition programs, along with supportive resources to the area’s neighborhood groups and residents.

What sets our market apart from the rest?

La Cienega Farmers’ Market was started by The Model Neighborhood Program (MNP), a 501(c)(3) non-profit neighborhood improvement organization dedicated to vitalizing the community by providing direct support through its Certified Farmers’ Markets and nutrition programs to the area’s neighborhood groups and residents. This market created a place where an economically and socially diverse mix of community members could gather and purchase farm fresh produce for their families and households. In turn, by shopping at the farmers’ market, our customers are supporting the sustainability of small California farmers and increasing awareness of the importance of eating freshly picked fruits and vegetables. The MNP is a recipient of 2 on-going federal and state grant programs, which help local shoppers afford a healthier eating lifestyle. These programs are in line with the MNP’s mission, allowing La Cienega CFM to further serve its community. Through our shoppers’ continued support, the Model Neighborhood Program’s (MNP) community service programs are able to achieve our mission to improve the quality of life for the communities we serve. These programs include:

A look at our farm-to-school nutrition programs, past and present

Fresh Fruit on Fridays

A Farm to School Nutrition Program

In 2003, the MNP’s Farmers’ Markets began conducting nutrition demonstrations for students at two local elementary schools. As a result of those demonstrations, Fresh Fruit on Fridays (FFOF) was born. Today FFOF serves a total of sixTitle 1 public schools in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles.

The objectives of FFOF is to educate children about the nutritional benefits of eating seasonal, locally grown, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. We inform them about the value of knowing where their food comes from and enhance the student’s experience through lessons, demonstrations, and samples of the featured produce. Students develop familiarity with a variety of goods by learning where, when, and how local farmers grow their crops, as well as nutritional benefits and historical information.

FFOF and the Model Neighborhood Program have been pioneers for the standards of national Farm to School Programs, with an emphasis on sharing the ideologies of the farm-to-table movement currently making trend waves in the USA. We believe that good health is a crucial part of life and so we provide students with the knowledge and the tools for making nutritionally beneficial dietary choices.

FFOF also promotes the benefits of making eco-conscious, earth-friendly decisions by supporting small, local farmers on their mission to commit to sustainability by lowering the carbon footprint.

FFOF relies on grants and donations to help our students continue to experience and learn about the benefits of farm fresh fruits and vegetables.

To assist Fresh Fruit on Fridays contact us at:

Student Farmer/School Garden Program

A full circle school garden program

It began back in 2004 with Denise, a dedicated parent at Canfield Avenue Elementary, who took the time to work with us to execute a unique program with their new school garden. The MNP raised funds to assist Canfield Avenue with irrigation materials, and after the kids got the garden growing, we paid for the permits and assisted with the certification of their garden. This enabled the school to then sell their produce in the farmers’ market. Denise pulled together the kids, the produce, and the La Cienega Farmers’ Market then made room for them on Thursday. They didn’t make much, but the students got to see what it was like to produce something from scratch and bring it to market like a real farmer. We believe in providing opportunities for students of school garden’s on how to plan for the future; from the time they plant the first seed, to developing a strategy on bring their produce to market, this is one way we can help them gain knowledge, experience, and prepare them for positive results.

Super Salad Me

Another successful program!

Super Salad Me is a program that provides a free healthy salad bar that will include items not normally seen on your average school menu and that are picked fresh by local farmers. Fresh organic spring mix baby lettuce, accompanied by an assortment of fresh fruits, sprouts and nuts, topped with fruity vinaigrette dressing are some examples of what may be offered. Students experience the full range of choices available to them when they eat healthy, and the difference that freshness can make to the quality and taste of food.

Our intent is for our older students to think outside the normal limitations of school and cafeteria food and opt for the better tasting and higher nutritional level foods. Many teenagers are experiencing the results of bad eating habits, and like Fresh Fruit on Fridays, we want to offer them great tasting and healthy food alternatives, so that they too can make better food choices throughout their teen and adult lives.

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Covid-19 Guidelines

  • Please stay at home if you are feeling any Covid-19 related symptoms
  • Unvaccinated shoppers are required to wear face masks (including all children over 2 years old)
  • Vaccinated shoppers have the option to go without masks.
  • Please wash or sanitize hands upon entry to market.
  • Maintain 6 ft. distance from other shoppers throughout your visit
  • Enter and exit market only in designated areas
  • Shop fast and safe!