Wayne Farmer’s Market Making Progress
The Wayne YMCA launched a brand new Farmers Market on June 1st of this year and this has inspired change in policy, system, and the environment in Wayne Township.
For example, in order to encourage farmers to participate, we worked with the health department to address licensing costs that initially produced barriers to entry. Going forward we will work with the Mayor to address policies related to food licensing to support the growth of the Market in the future. Township employees are customers at the market, opening a door to discuss worksite wellness initiatives. And Valley Road, once strewn with local farms, is now the site of a farmers market influencing how people shop for and learn about fresh, local food.
Reflecting on the first year of the farmers market, there are a number of factors that contributed to its success:
- Having health screenings and health information offered by the Health Department and Atlantic Health every week of the market added tremendous value.
- Being the Y helped – the farmers saw the Y as a trusted organization which created confidence that we would be successful
- Location, location, location – the market is in a highly visible and well- trafficked area with lots of free parking.
- Put the farmers first and they will be there for you and the community! Be their advocate.
- Drive foot traffic to the market. We defined “farmer” broadly and featured true LOCAL farmers who offer UNIQUE items that people wanted to experience. We also featured special events each week to make the market feel more like community event and not just a shopping trip to the store. Active social media presence kept the community informed, engaged and excited about market happenings and offerings.
- Do your homework — Learn from other markets. Find out which farmers work together and build relationships. Talk to other FM Managers and support each other’s markets
About the Grantee
The Wayne YMCA is a charitable nonprofit organization that serves as the center of community and culture in Wayne Township. We are a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. At the Y, strengthening community FOR ALL is our cause.
Cohort: North 1
Funder: Atlantic Health System