Innovative partnerships that allow markets to serve as hubs of information
Promoting good nutrition and healthful habits
Business incubation, job development, and local spending
Governance and policies that put farmers first
Improving access to healthful foods in underserved neighborhoods
Growing social capital and engaging volunteers
Supporting agricultural diversity and farm viability, while inspiring a new generation of producers
Good stuff. It's all really important to us, but the food equity piece is especially important. We've been accepting the LINK card since 2010, and in 2011 season we received a grant to double the number of LINK tokens requested by patrons using their LINK card - up to $20 per card, per Market day. This is a great way for people receiving LINK benefits to stretch resources, and for farmers and food producers to get their foods into new households. Win-win! For more information about the new LINK Double Value program, click here. The program's debut is this weekend.
[And, yes, that photo of peaches on the page linked above was taken at our market!]
This weekend's weather is suddenly starting to look a little touchy. Of course, you'd never let a little rain stop you from snapping up the best in-season locally grown stuff, would you?
Also this weekend:
It's our annual corn event for Sprouts at the Market. Sprouts is nutrition and farm linkage programming for kids ages 3-8 - it starts at 9, runs until 11, is completely free, and features samples of corn in its many forms and lots of cool facts about corn. All kids finishing all tables at the Market receive a Certificate of Participation, which they can then take over to Art Mart Toys for a 20% discount. NOTE: If it's raining at 8:30 on Saturday or rain is imminent, we'll be canceling the event. Stay tuned for a possible rain date.
Community groups participating this week on the west side of the Market: Vet Med, Chambana Moms, Urbana Business Association, Eastern Illinois Foodbank, Sierra Club, CIMIC, UP Center, The Land Connection, Habitat For Humanity, and several others. These folks have their finger on the pulse of what's happening in our area, and are especially good resources if you're looking for volunteer opportunities this fall. Check them out!
Finally, a warm welcome/welcome back to U of I students and faculty. Best wishes for a great semester - we hope to see you out at the Market each Saturday through November 5!