To encourage healthy living, the Student Union will host its first Produce on the Patio farmers market Thursday, Jan. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association, e.Co and Healthy Knights 2020, Produce on the Patio will feature fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers and vendors every Thursday outside the Student Union.

“We are initiating a farmers market because we have heard individual students and student groups expressing a desire for fresh, local fruits and vegetables. This fits well with the Healthy Knights 2020 campaign to promote healthy eating,” said Student Union assistant director Lili Metcalf. “Supporting local farmers is also a ‘green’ move. Buying local, seasonal produce cuts down the carbon footprint by avoiding excessive transportation and storage logistics.”

For added efficiency, one of the vendors, Homegrown Co-Op, will allow customers to order online ahead of time and pick up their orders at Produce on the Patio. The company represents more than 50 local farmers and artisans.

“We hope to help the UCF community keep those healthy New Year’s resolutions,” said Metcalf. “We would like the market to be an enjoyable, convenient way for students, faculty and staff to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Produce on the Patio will be held every week until April 18, except March 7 during spring break.