Profile: Boise Farmers Market
Posted On: August 4, 2021
Throughout National #FarmersMarketWeek we’re highlighting a few standout local food systems organizations that we’ve found inspiring over the past year. Next up, the Boise Farmers Market in Boise, Idaho!
Mission: The Boise Farmers Market supports a regenerative, healthy food and agricultural system by operating a vibrant marketplace featuring locally grown and crafted products.
Vision: The Boise Farmers Market is a community marketplace where local food and agricultural products are available year round and the community can learn about and become engaged in food system issues. The Market is a catalyst and incubator for local food-related activities in the region, and helps to build personal and community self-reliance.
Programming detail, history and community reach:
The BFM Pollinator Society is our giving group that supports the programs of the Boise Farmers Market. We are a 501C6 non-profit organization. We raise funds through our 501C6 non-profit partner, the Treasure Valley Food Coalition. The BFM Pollinator Society began in 2019 as a way to formalize our individual giving program and encourage donors. This group has grown exponentially over the past two years. We currently have over 250 individual donors and funds raised help cover staffing and supplies for our Boise Farmer Mobile Market, our Sprouts Kids Club and more. Our Pollinator Society has become an important part of our fundraising efforts.
In 2020, as a way to continue to bring local food to our community and to ensure that our farmers and ranchers were able to sell their goods, we shifted to a drive through format with timed pick ups. This new way of doing the farmers market meant we needed a lot of volunteers each week. We found a win-win partnership with City of Good, a non-profit who had an abundance of volunteers and needed a way to distribute meals. We needed volunteers and already had an easy way to distribute meals. The partnership worked out great for both organizations.
Our Worker Bees are Pollinator Society members who donate their time as volunteers. These in-kind donations are just as important as monetary donations. Our BFM Drive-thru is successful because of our dedicated group of volunteers. By the end of 2020, this partnership led to BFM having a pool of 568 volunteers who donated 7,579 hours (this is the equivalent of 2.5 years of 8 hour work days). This group continues to volunteer for the BFM Drive-thru, and for other opportunities, each week.
This year we are offering three different ways to buy local food. We have continued the BFM Drive-thru, opened our regular farmers market, which we are calling the BFM Walk-thru, and our Mobile Market, which offers fresh local produce, eggs, honey and bread from our BFM vendors, is out Monday through Wednesday in 14 different Boise neighborhoods June through September.
Organization Contact: Tamara Cameron, Market Manager, tamara@theboisefarmersmarket or 415-602-4174