Closing Out 2 Years Running the Pop-up Stand
Grow It Green Morristown ran a Pop-up Stand for two years in an effort to reach under-served residents in our community. Our intention was to make fresh produce readily available for residents that may not have easy use of transportation to grocery stores. We tested a few locations in the first year to assess the response, and settled on two main locations in the second year. We struggled with low attendance at the Pop Up Stand over the two years and had a hard time finding bi-lingual applicants for our seasonal positions like the Pop-up Stand position. When we did have a bi-lingual volunteer at the Pop-up stand, the engagement was much better. The program is supported by funding from Atlantic Health System as part of the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network.
Over the course of the two-year trial period of our Pop-up Stand, we ran into many complications ranging from weather to low attendance. As we spoke to more residents inquiring about the low engagement, we learned that there were multiple organizations around town that offer lower income residents fresh produce, for free. Specifically, on Market Day, the church around the corner from the Early Street Community Garden had free produce bags available for under-served residents. Since we donate fresh produce weekly to many of these organizations in our community, we found that we need to look at a different way to connect our organization directly with our community.
For the 2020 growing season, we would like to explore other ways to reach the community and potentially a new demographic. Our focus will be on finding successful ways to reach under-served residents of our community whether it is through our Pop up Stand or another program that directly connects us with these residents. This could include developing stronger partnerships with other local organizations or developing new programs to serve the senior and low-income population in Morristown. We are so thankful for all that we learned while launching this project and the ongoing support of our coach from the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network.
About the Grantee
Grow It Green Morristown creates sustainable farms and gardens, and educates communities on healthy eating and environmental stewardship. We believe that fresh, local food should be accessible to all.