Farmers Markets as Sites

Letcher County Site under Letcher County Schools Sponsor (1)
The Letcher County Farmers Market SFSP site distributed meals out of a food booth to children. Meals were prepared using local meats and produce from growers at the market.
 Boy Outside Eating an Apple
Benefits of Farmers Market SFSP sites: help feed children healthy meals during the summer, buy local produce from local growers to support the local foods economy, and create an accessible community space. Creates an opportunity to provide food for those who currently shop at the market in addition to attracting new customers who ordinarily might not have purchased food there. In 2014, the LCFM SFSP increased its number of participants each week.
  • Smoothies with local berries
  • Breakfast wraps with local onions, peppers, and sausage from market growers and producers
  • Fresh eggs purchased from newly licensed egg distributor for breakfast wraps.
Girl Holding Variety of Vegetable
Girl Holding Variety of Vegetable — Image by © Roy McMahon/Corbis
Community Partners:
-Food and Nutrition Director, Letcher County Schools—collaborated with Department of Education,provided logistic support, procured supplies and served food at the market. Provided full time staff for the first month of the program and part time staff for the second month.
-Letcher County Health Department—Facilitated Farmers Market Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit. Conducted training for manager and server training.
-Grow Appalachia Cowan Community Center—Paid fees to the Health Department for required certifications. Purchased necessary supplies to properly support food booth. Contributed to salary for food prep staff.
-Mountain Shrine Club—Provided the food booth to be kept at the farmers’ market on-site at no charge.
-Mountain Heritage Festival Committee—Provided electrical support for the food booth.
How to Set Up Your Own Farmers Market SFSP:
1. Bring all of the stakeholders together to collaborate on the program’s implementation. Begin the conversation w/the Summer Feeding Site Sponsor. In this case, this was the Letcher County Schools Food Service Director. Become a team.
2. Meet with key members of the community to generate interest in your program.
3. Share the plan and obtain approval and support from the state level.
4. Communicate with your local health department:
a. Explain exactly what you want.
b. Share your values and why you want to start up the program.
c. Build trust with them and make sure they know that they are part of the project as well.
5. Look outside the box for the resources you will need:
a. Look for trailers in your community that seem to be unused at the time(s) you will need them and make some phone calls.
b. Use social media to identify resources.
c. Speak with people in your community and ask them to volunteer to cook and/or serve at your site.
(1) Text adapted from “Growing A Farmers’ Market Summer Feeding Program Site: A Community Farm Alliance Resource Tool” July 2014 by Lara Daniels, Heather Hyden, Valerie Horn, and Hilary Neff, with permission from Valerie Horn.