Temperatures and Markets are Up!

      Posted On: July 29, 2013

Hello FMC Supporters,

Despite the extreme heat that affected most of the country this month, people have been flocking to their local markets this summer. FMC’s members and supporters have shared amazing photos of the gorgeous produce, delicious prepared foods and many smiling (if sweaty) faces at their markets. These photos and stories have served to further confirm all of the information we’ve shared in FMC’s ‘Markets are Up! Talking Points’ document, which highlights the positive impact that markets have on rural livelihoods, community health, economic opportunity, and healthy food access.

If you haven’t seen the ‘Markets are Up!’ document yet, I encourage you to take a peek. Did you know that from 2008-2013, Market Umbrella in New Orleans, achieved a 501% increase in the number of vulnerable seniors visiting Crescent City Farmers Market? Or that compared to 2011, Michigan farmers markets experienced a 42% increase in the number of SNAP purchases in 2012? National Farmers Market Week is coming up on August 4th through 10th, which provides the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of these impressive achievements.

Markets all over the country will be celebrating National Farmers Market Week in a variety of ways: BREADA in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is hosting a celebration to honor youth artists who painted new tables for their Saturday Market. Each table’s artwork highlights an aspect of the local food system, adding to the already vibrant market environment. The mayor will be there to recognize each artist and speak briefly about the importance of farmers markets to their community, and a Jazz Parade will weave through the customers and vendors.

The Streator Downtown Farmers Market in Illinois is hosting skill-building events throughout the week, including a permaculture workshop, and cooking demonstrations titled “Gluten Free Made Easy,’ and, ‘Cooking from Scratch: Speedy, Thrifty, Healthy.”

On our end, FMC is partnering with the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, Wholesome Wave and DC Greens to host a press conference on August 3rd at the Columbia Heights Farmers Market in D.C. The USDA will announce the 2013 farmers market numbers, and FMC will be there to highlight the broad range of positive impacts that markets have on their communities. The event will be full of music, games, tastings and giveaways, so be sure to join us if you’re in the D.C. area.

If you haven’t planned NFMW events, there’s still time! Visit FMC’s ‘Markets are Up!’ page to access invitation and press release templates, in addition to the Talking Points document. We’re eager to see the creativity that the week will bring, and will provide a social media cheat sheet containing status updates and hashtags to help you promote your market’s activities and share the events with us.

As a final thought, I’m happy to announce that I’m transitioning out of my interim position this month, to serve FMC as Executive Director. It’s been a privilege to work with FMC’s inspiring Board of Directors and members over the past year, and I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to build our capacity to assist markets across the country. If you’re not familiar with FMC’s leaders, please take a moment to scroll through FMC’s People Page to get to know our Board of Directors, and stay tuned for the announcement of our Advisory Committee – a group of food system experts who will support the Board and further inform FMC’s work.

Have a wonderful National Farmers Market Week, and thank you for all that you do to support your community and local producers!