By Deidre Harrison
Is it possible to make learning about food fun? The volunteers at the Forsyth Farmers’ Market teamed together to provide engaging and community centered outreach in metro Savannah to promote local services. Volunteers attended community centers, health fairs, and social groups to connect local residents with the My Market activities and Mixed Greens programs.
To kick off the year, volunteers taught parents of elementary school students about the benefits of eating whole foods and local produce. Kids enjoyed learning how to dance zumba while parents received small group training about accessing the market and using the token system.
Similar to other statewide markets, the Forsyth Farmers’ Market values customers from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Thus, outreach services incorporated communities that may have limited accessed to healthy foods.
Making connections and building relationships is critical when sharing valuable information to improve the health and wellness of local residents. Savannah is home to hundreds of churches, community centers, and special needs organizations that prioritize the betterment of others.
In addition to telling the good news of My Market programs, volunteers also showed untapped consumers the healthy and affordable products to purchase.
In addition to receiving FFM materials families were able to see and sample local products at community classes at local organizations such as the Union Mission, IMPACT Foster Parent training, and the Savannah Baptist Center.
While giving training at a local senior residence, participants enthusiastically voiced excitement in learning how to cook healthier foods with FFM products. Many had never known about Buffalo meat or colorful squashes sold year round at the market. Surprisingly, one attendee added her own testimony to the significance of healthy eating. Since living at the senior center, she began walking twice a day, and shopping at the market. In two years, she lost over 100lbs and was no longer required to take any medications.