The Rapidian

Scholarships enable wider range of attendees at Downtown Market

The Downtown Market has a need-based scholarship program to ensure access to local produce and food education.
Underwriting support from:

Downtown Market scholarships

Learn more about Downtown Market scholarships.


Grand Rapids Downtown Market

435 Ionia Ave. 

The Downtown Market offers many classes and programs, some of which are free and some of which are not. For patrons who want to attend a class but cannot secure the funds to do so, Downtown Market has been offering their Healthy Eating for All scholarship program since November 2013.

“One of the primary goals for the Downtown Market is to provide everyone with access to local, fresh, healthy food and the resources necessary to make informed food decisions,” says Shannon Sadoski, the Education Manager at the Downtown Market. “The income-based scholarship is designed to give that same access to those with limited financial resources.”

The scholarship includes the cost of attending any of the scholarship-eligible culinary or wellness classes hosted at the Downtown Market, “Produce Bucks” and Rapid Transit passes.

Produce Bucks are given to eligible participants during their class and are worth $15. The vouchers are redeemable at Relish Green Grocer at the Downtown Market so participants can recreate what they’ve learned in class at home. 

Rapid Transit passes are available for anyone eligible who needs help getting from their home to the Downtown Market for class. 

The scholarship was implemented as a partnership between the Downtown Market and Spectrum Health's Healthier Communities program, which also provides Produce Bucks and Rapid Transit passes to scholarship-eligible participants as part of the program. 

The program regularly serves around 300 participants from the Grand Rapids community. More than 500 people have been served.

Those interested in receiving a scholarship apply by providing a form of financial documentation. A staff member of the Downtown Market contacts the participant and registers them for class and discusses transportation needs. After attending class, the participant receive their Produce Bucks.

Scholarships are awarded by financial need, proven by statements of income or verification of assistance, to members of the underserved community in Grand Rapids. 

For more information about the Downtown Market Healthy Eating For All scholarship program, visit their website for scholarship information.

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