POP your market in 2016

Last year, the Farmers Market Coalition teamed up with Chipotle Mexican Grill to give 30 farmers markets across the country the opportunity to meet their educational missions through the POP Club: Power of Produce! FMC is excited to announce that POP will continue at those markets for an additional year, AND will expand the program to include 20 MORE FMC member markets for the 2016 season!

POP Club began in 2011 at the Oregon City Farmers Market. The program’s success attracted the attention of, and quickly spread to, markets across the country. POP Club empowers children to make healthy food choices by engaging them in educational activities at the farmers market and putting buying power directly into their hands. The program gives children $5 in market currency (vouchers) to spend on fresh produce when they participate in a POP Club activity. POP Club provides a fun opportunity for children to participate in the local food system through conversations directly with farmers, educational games and demonstrations, and exposure to new fruits and vegetables. You can learn more about the POP Club here.

The Chipotle Mexican Grill sponsorship will provide 50 FMC members with activity supplies and promotional materials needed to run the program, and $2,000 in farmers market vouchers for POP Club participants! While the Chipotle sponsorship opportunity is open to a limited number of markets, the POP Club tools, guides, templates and promotional materials are available for download by all FMC members.
Sponsored markets will receive:

  • $2,000 in farmers market vouchers
  • A POP Club Banner
  • Grow Pots (flower pots with seeds and info on growing your own veggies)
  • Activity Books (Games and activities that also teach kids about growing food and eating healthy)
  • Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt cards
  • Salsa recipe cards
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Templates for social media graphics, fliers, and POP Club Passports

The sponsored markets will be required to offer POP Club programming on 4 market days, between June and August.  However, markets are free to offer POP Club more often if desired.  Sponsored markets will be required to submit two brief progress reports on their POP Club activities. The POP Club events and final report must be completed by August 15th.

Does this sound like a great program for your market? Apply today! The online application takes about 15 minutes, and is due by Friday April 29th at 11:59 EST.  If you have any questions about the program, please contact Liz Comiskey atliz@farmersmarketcoalition.org.

Apply Today!
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A Hidden Cost to Giving Kids Their Vegetables – The New York Times

A really fascinating article that markets should read. Programs like Power of Produce (POP), cooking demos and packaging some smaller amounts may help with this issue.

But the poor parents I followed had little leeway to ignore waste. One mother strove to provide healthy food on a budget. She cooked rice and beans or pasta with bruised vegetables bought at a discount. These meals cost relatively little — if they’re eaten. But when her children rejected them, an affordable dish became a financial burden. Grudgingly, this mother resorted to the frozen burritos and chicken nuggets that her family preferred.

To consume a variety of nutritious foods, children need to acquire new tastes. This is an opportunity that many families cannot provide. Schools can familiarize children with nourishing foods through gardening, experience-based nutrition education and healthy school meals. Because many schools lack the funding to expose children to varied, wholesome foods, it is essential to expand the promising programs that have begun to address this problem.

Pediatricians and nutrition educators can also suggest how to reduce waste. Recommendations could include offering foods that are shelf-stable and easily divisible, like frozen fruits and vegetables, so parents can offer small amounts repeatedly without generating excessive waste.

Source: A Hidden Cost to Giving Kids Their Vegetables – The New York Times