Explaining markets to new vendors

While at New Orleans NGO Market Umbrella from 2001-2011, one of the projects I managed was the Go Fish/ Go Market video series funded by the Kellogg Foundation. Over 34 teaching videos were created during this project, primarily to share innovations from market vendors in areas of production, marketing or sales. In addition, we did some videos to explain how the market itself worked and this video was designed to introduce the steps during set up at the Tuesday market to any new vendors. I’d recommend that markets do this type of video for their market, and of course, the availability of digital equipment and skills in making short movies among the market staff and volunteers is pretty good these days!

I am very proud of this series even though viewing it in ensuing years is bittersweet as many of those in the video are long gone from the market and some even gone from this planet.


Check out more of these videos on YouTube:



Kellogg Foundation funds fruits and veggies for FitNOLa participants

The city of New Orleans has received a $700,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to continue supporting the community’s health and wellness, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced July 11, adding that the grant will fund a partnership between the city Health Department’s FIT NOLA initiative, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, the New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation, Market Umbrella, Louisiana Public Health Institute, and community wellness programs through 2018.

Community wellness programs at clinics and other sites will refer patients in disease management groups to Fit NOLA Live Well; participants will get an NORDC key card for free fitness activities at 12 NORDC recreation centers, 12 summer and three year-round pools, and several playgrounds…and can receive vouchers for fresh fruit and vegetables (at local farmers markets).

Source: Foundation Extends Community Wellness Grant to New Orleans



New Market Umbrella Director hired

Since Richard McCarthy left in January to take over as Slow Food USA director, the board has been diligently searching for a new executive director for the New Orleans-based farmers market organization. They have found a new director who has long worked in the public health sector in the city on food access, pedestrian and bicycling issues, among many other healthy living projects.
It’s always interesting when a market moves from its founder to the next generation; the market community will certainly be working for a smooth transition and I am sure the new leadership will be very attuned to that fact.
Let the new day begin!


Cluster evaluation of incentives

The report from Fair Food Network, Market Umbrella, Roots of Change and Wholesome Wave offers some helpful data and analysis of the incentive programs used in farmers markets. All 4 of these organizations are involved with incentive campaigns at different levels and have begun to see the effects of the many campaigns that they have run. It is clear to me that cash incentives have been successful in reducing the early barriers for markets hoping to attract lower income shoppers. However,the ability of the market organizations to create and manage these campaigns remains a cause of concern in some networks and states.
I am curious as to how incentives could be used in more ways (two examples might be how to attract new vendors or thanking neighbors who live with the impact of the market ) and how other incentives besides a cash match could be developed.

See the report here. FYI- It is only opening on computers; it does not seem to open on tablets at this point.