Yard Sale Produce, located at 142 Wilson St., Lackawanna, celebrated its grand-opening on Saturday. Founded by Michael Barnes, Yard Sale Produce aims to reduce the plight of urban deserts and make affordable, fresh produce available in Lackawanna.
A press release stated, “Many Lackawanna families are unable to achieve their daily nutritional values due to the fact that their communities lack the resources to provide healthy foods. But by collaborating with local students, volunteers, farmers, leaders, wholesale distributors and store owners, Barnes is able to sell fresh produce for below-market prices.”
He said, “It was so rewarding to see the community come out for the opening and stock up on the fruits and vegetables they need to provide their families with filling and nutritious meals. We’ll continue to be open for the rest of the season to help those in our community meet their nutritional needs at prices that fit into their budget. A healthy community starts with healthy people.”
Barnes is a recent client of Pamela James, business development director at CAO’s Masten Resource Center. Together, they have developed a targeted business plan, which includes expanding Yard Sale Produce’s footprint throughout the tristate area by 2026. James said she is looking forward to the impact Yard Sale Produce will have on the Lackawanna community this season.
“Michael’s commitment to the market and his genuine care for his neighbors is truly inspiring,” she said. “We at CAO are thrilled to continue working with him and helping him provide produce for other urban deserts in the region. The opening event on Saturday was extremely successful thanks to the hard work of Michael and his team.”
The event drew a crowd of local families and community leaders to support Barnes’s initiative and stock up on produce. Thomas Kim, CAO’s president and CEO, said he was impressed with the turnout and is excited about Yard Sale Produce’s future.
“Michael has identified a need in his community and taken the initiative to help fulfill that need,” Kim said. “We at CAO are committed to working alongside residents who are starting grassroots movements to help their communities thrive.”
The Community Action Organization of WNY was designated in 1965 as the official antipoverty agency for Erie County with a mission to serve the unmet needs of the low-income populations. Today, CAO serves more than 50,000 families and individuals within Erie and Niagara counties through various programs and services. Visit caowny.org for more information.