Completed Projects

The Food Bank Coalition - Children's Farmers' Market Expansion

The Food Bank Coalition - Children's Farmers' Market Expansion

Throughout SLO County, farmer's markets are plentiful thanks to the increased demand for local produce by a booming population of food conscious consumers. The demand for produce spans all income brackets, yet the abundance of farmer's markets in our county does not mean increased access to fresh produce for all. For many low-income residents, the cost and accessibility of fresh produce is a deterrent that makes this dietary staple a fleeting luxury.

To address this issue, The Food Bank launched its Children's Farmer's Market program in the Spring of 2014. This program provides students in participating schools located in low-income communities with 15 pounds of monthly produce in a farmer's market setting. Similar to a real farmer's market, students are provided a reusable bag and mock money, or 'Food Bank Bucks' to be able to choose which produce and the amount they would like to take home to share with their families.

Located in high-needs communities, the Children's Farmer's Markets also serve as a hub where children can learn about nutrition, cooking demonstrations, tastings, and more. This program encourages children to shop for nutritious food, support local farmers, learn and play while reinforcing the importance of healthy eating. Long lasting effects of the Children's Farmer's Markets include a change in eating habits toward healthy choices and an increase in appreciation for local farmers and local produce.

Our Commitment

must! charities is committed to expand the Children's Farmer's Market program into 9 new North County sites. The prior grant from must! charities has lasting impacts that will be carried forward through the Children's Farmer's Markets. The must! truck and van donated to the children's program will continue to serve children in the summer lunch and after school snack program as well as the Children's Farmer's Markets. The vehicles allow the Food Bank to serve an even greater number of children than what was originally expected. In our last grant, must! charities helped the Food Bank develop strong relationships with school administrations.  Those relationships have become invaluable as they build on this network to increase services to children and youth at school sites via the Children's Farmer's Market.

The $27,000 Cash Investment over the next 12 months will add an additional 9 sites to the north county.  Each site will have a monthly distribution of the Children's Farmer's Market program.  Must! will be the official sponsor of the reusable shopping bags as part of this cash investment.



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