Practicing Gratitude (in Utter Chaos)

By: Stephanie Fenty       Posted On: November 23, 2020

This year has been a stressful, difficult, painful, and unpredictable one for everyone across the country. I don’t need to reiterate the tragedies that have come to a head this year, as I am sure that they are at the forefront of everyone’s minds as folks try to prepare and plan for an unusual and uncertain holiday season. 

Instead, at FMC we’ve been taking another perspective. As tradition dictates, I want to take a moment to focus on gratitude. Because despite everything, the team at FMC has seen and experienced so much this year to be grateful for.

We are grateful for the farmers and market operators who have continued to work hard to make fresh food safely available to their communities, despite the additional difficulties, costs, and risks that they undertook to do so. We are grateful for the individual advocates and organizations that stood with us to ensure that farmers markets were declared essential businesses and were able to continue to feed their communities when the conventional food system failed. We are grateful for our members who shared their stories and innovations with us, allowing us to compile information and resources quickly and efficiently so that farmers market operators nationwide could learn and adapt together as a sector.

And we are so grateful that our sector is one of collaboration, cooperation, and generosity. Neighbors and strangers alike build each other up across miles, states, and even countries despite working in a role that can often feel isolating and overwhelming. Our members, partners, and supporters are at the heart of the work that we are able to do. And we are so grateful that during the height of an absolute nightmare of a year, that all of you continued to not only participate in our network, but to strengthen and grow it.

Practicing gratitude is a privilege that not everyone is afforded right now. There is still so much work ahead to move towards the vision we have for our food system. One that is fair and equitable. One that feeds all community members without exploiting them. One that sustains a livable wage for the workers at its foundation. There is much to do, but right now, I couldn’t be more grateful that we don’t have to do it alone.

It’s revitalizing to trust in the partnership of our members, our partners, and our networks. It’s exhilarating to imagine the growth and change that is possible after the resilience, innovation, and collaboration displayed in one of the most unstable years of recent memory. I’m hopeful that our work, our impact, and our coalition will only continue to strengthen and grow in the upcoming year. For all of that trust, hope, and inspiration, I want to say Thank You.


Next Tuesday, December 1 is Giving Tuesday, the national day of giving.  I hope you’ll consider donating to FMC and join our coalition. The generosity of our donors and members helps to make farmers markets stronger. Together, we can support the farmers market leaders nationwide that make fresh food safe, reliable, and accessible to all.