Honolulu’s People’s Open Market Program (POM)

We’re lucky to live in such a beautiful place, and one of the benefits of living in the Honolulu area is the POM, or People’s Open Market Progam.

People's Open Market Program

Eating Clean Is A Lifestyle Choice

As you lose weight and regain your health, you’ll find that that the new clean eating habits you’ve picked up will be a lifetime choice. That’s how you keep the weight off, live longer, and live better. Once you discover what it feels like to be more comfortable in your body, with more energy, well… it’s an easy choice.

Creation Of The POM (People’s Open Market)

Eating healthy involves choosing more fresh fruits and vegetables. Those produced locally not only help our local economy, they are nutritious and fresh. The People’s Open Market Program was established here in Honolulu in 1973. There are three goals for the markets:

  1. To give you a chance to purchase fresh agricultural and aquacultural products and other food items at low cost.
  2. To support diversified local food production by giving farmers and fishermen a place to sell their surplus and off-grade produce.
  3. To offer local areas for the community to meet and socialize.

POM Farmer’s Markets Schedule

Currently, the People’s Open Market runs every day of the week in various locations (usually city parks and parking lots). You can see the full schedule of all 25 market sites on the Honolulu Parks & Recreation website.

Most of the POM markets are open for an hour or less per day – pay attention to the start times and arrive early for the widest choices. Like any farmer’s market, many items are available in limited supply.

Creation of The People’s Open Markets

The POM was created after women in a discussion group expressed concern about the high cost of living in Honolulu. Joyce Fasi, wife of then Honolulu mayor Frank Fasi, took these concerns to her husband and the first People’s Open Market was founded to sell “off-grade”, “ungraded”, and surplus produce.

The POM staff checks retail stores weekly to determine recommended market prices, which are usually about 35% below retail prices. The POM markets offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and other food items year round, including some hard to get ethnic items. Flowers are also available.

Tips For Shopping At The POM

  • Check the schedule before you set out in case of temporary closures
  • Visit often and eat your produce fresh!
  • Bring your own bags
  • Bring small bills and coins. EBT cards are accepted.
  • Leave pets at home (except seeing eye/working dogs)
  • Shop around and compare prices
  • Don’t forget the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 if you can sometimes choose organic

Shopping At The POM Is Great For Your Health

You’ve heard of avoiding the center aisles to avoid processed food… and the People’s Open Market, like any farmer’s market, really doesn’t offer very much processed food. It’s a wonderful place to discover fresh healthy eating choices. Sure, there are treats… just keep them in moderation, and choose lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats and seafood for your meals. The People’s Open Market is one of the best places in Honolulu for shopping to eat clean.

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