22 January 2020

Community Nourishment

While delicious, local food may be the backbone of our markets, community is the soul. We believe community thrives when we both give and receive; we invite our neighbors to participate in markets, we are grateful to join in community events, and we value our partnerships with local change-making organizations.

 

Community Within the Market

Grupo Latitudes plays at King Farmers Market

In addition to providing a direct connection to more than 200 small business owners with deep roots in Oregon and Southwest Washington, including farms, nurseries, bakeries, meat and seafood providers, cheese makers and specialty food producers, our markets are a place for vibrant community gatherings. Our free recipe demonstrations and hands-on kids cooking activities educate market-goers as the music stage hosts local artists who bring our markets to life.

Any given week, you can hear slide guitar, marimbas, Brazilian jazz, Eastern European folk, classical Spanish guitar, country blues, contemporary Hawaiian or Andes and Latin Folk. We are especially proud to host Friends of Noise, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting an all-ages-friendly music ecosystem. Our Market Music stage is many a youth musicians’ first paying gig.

 

The Market in the Community

Left: PFM at the 2019 Kenton Street Fair. Right: Community booth at the market.

Our markets simply couldn’t happen and farmers market vendors could not thrive without community support. So, we build relationships with the unique communities surrounding each market location. We invite those community groups serving the area to have a booth at our neighborhood markets and participate ourselves at a number of community events. You can find us at City of Portland Fix-it-Fairs, Jade Night Market, Lents Street Fair, Good in the Hood and the Kenton Street Fair. We also take the opportunity to support local small food business by presenting at Portland Mercado’s Empresarios Bootcamp and at Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation speakers series.

 

Community Partnerships

A SNAP shopper uses Double Up Food Bucks to purchase fresh produce.

Through our partnership with Sisters of the Road (SOTR) we increase access to fresh, locally-grown foods for low-income community members who earn barter cards at the SOTR café. The barter café’s Fresh Change program brings over $12,000 to the market – which goes directly into the hands of local farmers and food artisans – while encouraging a habit of nutritious eating, broadening community connections and providing amazing food to those who may not otherwise have been able to afford it.

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), a nutrition incentive program run by Farmers Market Fund, matches Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly known as food stamps). This enables SNAP participants to purchase additional fruits and vegetables at the farmers market.  For every dollar spent on SNAP-eligible foods at participating farmers markets, SNAP recipients receive an additional dollar to spend on Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables, up to $10 per visit. Because of this important program, SNAP households, family farmers, and Oregon all win.

 

We are so grateful for the support of our neighbors. Community presence and patronage is what makes the market scene come alive. We look forward to the partnerships, celebrations, and opportunities that 2020 will bring!

 

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