Second Street Market extends hours, accessibility

Photo:Second Street Market has extended its hours to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., through August

By Lauren Lemons

Home to a diverse array of prepared food vendors, artisans, and local growers, the Second Street Market is a downtown Dayton staple that draws regional attention for its community-centric initiatives and unique fare.

The market has been an integral part of downtown Dayton’s revitalization and now continues to grow to meet the community’s needs with extended hours on Sunday through the summer and a new option for SNAP customers to increase their benefits and enjoy fresh, local produce with Produce Perks.

Through a partnership with Homefull, a local nonprofit organization working to end homelessness, many market vendors now accept SNAP tokens. All produce vendors now also participate in the market’s newest program, Produce Perks, which provides a dollar-for-dollar match (up to $10 per visit) on produce purchases for those who use an Ohio Direction Card.

“The Second Street Market has established itself as an anchor for downtown Dayton’s revitalization,” says Second Street Market Manager Jimmy Harless. “We’re always looking for new ways to serve the community and make access to fresh, local food available to everyone.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Dayton is home to 29 food deserts, geographic areas where residents are located between one and 10 miles away from a grocer that provides affordable food and fresh produce.

“Studies have shown that increased consumption of fresh produce greatly improves overall health and wellbeing. We believe that everyone should have equitable access to fresh food,” says Michelle Riley, CEO of The Foodbank Inc.

Indeed, most people do not eat a well-balanced diet with the daily recommended amount of vegetables and fruits. Only about one in every 10 Americans eats enough produce, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This may be especially true in Dayton, as The Foodbank reports that one in six people in the tri-county area are food insecure, one in five of which are children. It is with this knowledge that local organizations and farmers are charged to make a difference.

“There’s a high concentration of growers and we have all this food, but we are still listed as a food desert,” says Brock Frieszell, owner of Frieszell Liberty Gardens, the market’s newest outdoor farmers’ market vendor.

Frieszell, 29, has a passion for produce and feeding the community. He now farms the land his grandparents once cultivated, and his operation continues to grow. With a desire to introduce people to new produce and offer specialty items shoppers may not find in a big box grocery store, Frieszell fits in with the mix of vendors at the Second Street Market.

“This is a great option for people,” Frieszell says. “I think it will help alleviate food deserts in our area.”

The market is home to 10 prepared food vendors offering breakfast and lunch items, as well as vendors offering such kitchen staples as bread, milk, cheese, meats, oils, and a large selection of handcrafted gifts. A summer market staple, the outdoor farmers’ market began the first weekend of June and typically lasts through the fall harvest season in early October.

The market found another opportunity to broaden access to fresh, local produce and goods by offering expanded hours throughout the summer as part of a pilot program.

“The community asked for Sunday hours and we listened,” Harless says. “Expanded hours allow us to accommodate our customers’ busy schedules and help meet a community need—more access to fresh, local food.”

More than 40 vendors offer local produce, prepared food, handcrafted goods, artisan fare, and more. Additionally, there are five local produce farmers at the market on Sundays.

“The Second Street Market helps Five Rivers MetroParks serve as the region’s conservation leader by providing our community convenient access to local food, which is less taxing on the environment and often healthier,” Harless says. “We’re proud to contribute to the urban vibrancy in downtown Dayton and look forward to a prosperous future serving the community.”

Shop fresh and local, and do your part to help feed the Dayton community by following some of the tips below:

Shopping for locally grown produce is often healthier and less taxing on the environment. Visit the Second Street Market to stock up on delicious, locally grown produce Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Through August, shoppers can enjoy Sunday hours at the market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Learn to grow your own! Five Rivers MetroParks offers a variety of gardening programs throughout the season to provide you with the skills you need to start your own garden.

Contribute to your next local food drive or make a donation to The Foodbank. Visit for more information.

If you know someone who is in need of food assistance, encourage them to contact the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area’s 24-hour hotline at 937.225.3000 or visit

Second Street Market is located at 600 E. Second St. in downtown Dayton. For more information, please visit

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Lauren Lemons
Reach DCP freelance writer Lauren Lemons at

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