What started in 2012 as a pilot program at six Georgia farmers markets is now a movement with over 12,000 members. We are so excited to be rolling into the third year of the My Market Club at 12 markets across the state.
It has been great to watch the number of farmers markets grow in Georgia, but as the numbers increased, we heard from many farmers that they were going home from market with beautiful fresh produce. Why? Because there weren’t enough shoppers at their farmers markets. In 2012, we set out to solve that problem and the My Market Club was born.
With support from our partners at The Blank Foundation, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the USDA and Chipotle, we created the My Market Club to be a program that connected communities to their food. Our first goal was to get people to shop at their local farmers market, and our second goal was to get them coming back.
At the heart of the club is the My Market Club Ambassadors, who serve as the face of the market both onsite and in the community. At the market, Ambassadors welcome new folks and engage regulars. In the community, the Ambassadors try to increase food access in communities that need it most. I have been lucky to work with the passionate people that make up our team of Ambassadors across the state.
In the past few years, I have proudly watched them grow into careers in food advocacy. Three former Ambassadors were among the first members of FoodCorps, a national service organization, in Georgia, and two Ambassadors are now managing markets of their own.
One of my favorite aspects of the My Market Club is that all the money given as rewards goes right back into local farmers’ pockets. To date, we have seen over $52,000 go back to our farmers, with more to come. Some of the rewards for visitors are even made by local craft artisans like Suds & Lather out of Athens and Big Daddy Biscuits out of Atlanta.
With our additional markets, we are ready to reach the goal we set in 2013: to welcome 15,000 new shoppers to markets around the state. We are on track to meet and exceed that goal with the 2015 season from Atlanta to Savannah and everywhere in between. Our markets include:
- East Atlanta Village Farmers Market
- Grant Park Farmers Market
- Decatur Farmers Market
- Westside Provisions Farmers Market
- Freedom Farmers Market
Athens: Athens Farmers Market
Savannah: Forsyth Farmers Market
Statesboro: Mainstreet Statesboro Farmers Market
How can you get involved?
- Visit a new farmers market & sign up for the My Market Club. New shoppers will get $5 to spend on local fruits & veggies. Bring back your member card and you’ll get rewards on your second and third visit from our great local artisans.
- Bring a new friend to market. If you’re already a market shopper, you can still join the club! For every new friend you bring to your market, you’ll be entered into raffles to win great local food prizes.
- Show us YOUR market! Post pictures of your favorite market moments or market finds and use #MyMarketGA to be entered to win!
- Work with us! Farmers markets need a lot of help behind the scenes, and our volunteers keep us running. Email us to find out how you can help. In addition to volunteer positions, we have a My Market Club Marketing & Outreach Intern position available.
See you at the market!