A POP of Kids Brings Market Alive
Posted On: November 22, 2016
When dwindling foot traffic threatened the future of Brambleton Farmers Market, Mary Haskins knew something had to be done.
Located in a park near a housing development, this small, Virginia market was a natural attraction for local families. However Haskins, the market’s outreach coordinator, worried about the farmers’ bottom line as she watched parents, busy with their children, slip in and out of market without visiting more than one or two vendors before leaving. Then she learned about POP.
The Power of Produce (POP) Club is a children’s program designed to engage kids through fun activities with local farmers and produce. As an FMC member, Brambleton Farmers Market was awarded a POP Club sponsorship, creating an opportunity for vendors to expand their reach to new and returning customers, while providing kids with a fun way to learn about healthy eating habits and how food grows. To Haskins, this program was vital to growing business at her market:
“Kids now beg their parents to bring them to market each week, and parents love to see their kids learning about and enjoying healthy food straight from the farm! POP Club really has worked to strengthen relationships between our farmers and community. ”
As word spread about the program, Haskins, along with the market vendors, was encouraged to find that 50% of kids who participated in POP Club were brand new to the market. What’s more, the program caught the eye of local organizations, such as the YMCA, Girl Scouts and County Lunch Program, allowing the market to establish exciting, new community partnerships and create even more possibilities for the market.
POP Club brings people together, forging local food with community, and we are proud to see it act as a tipping point for farmers markets across the country. But just as vendors, families and partners come together at the market, we need you to come together for us to continue this work.
With a donation of $25 or more today, you will help us continue to build programs that energize our nation’s farmers markets. Farmers work hard to bring fresh, local food to our tables; let’s return the favor and work hard to bring more customers to market!
FMC Membership, Outreach and POP Club Coordinator