Meet Sagdrina Jalal, the Executive Director of Project Generation Gap, the facilitator of the My Market Club at Lilburn Farmers Market & Stone Mountain Farmers Market.
Unfamiliar with My Market? Here’s a quick refresher. G.O.’s My Market Club offers new farmers market shoppers great rewards like $5 in market tokens to spend on local food, branded tote bags, lip balm, soaps, and more, and also help connect communities to their food. So far, we’ve helped over 15,000 new Georgia shoppers discover the wonders of their local market!
Sagdrina plays a huge role in the expansion and sustainability of My Market Club in Lilburn and Stone Mountain. Under her guidance, those markets became the first to apply for their own funding, transferring ownership of the market to the community.
We recently posed a few quick questions to Sagdrina, who was kind enough to answer:
Who are you and what do you do?
I am the Executive Director of Project Generation Gap. I facilitate incentive programs like Wholesome Wave and My Market Club in and effort to help markets increase their reach.
Where have you implemented the My Market Club so far? Where do you plan to expand?
This market season we worked with Stone Mountain Farmers Market and Lilburn Farmers Market. We are planning to work with new markets every season but we haven’t decided which markets just yet.
Why did you decide to bring the My Market Club to your markets?
I believe that more people would visit the markets in their communities if they simply knew they were there! My Market Club puts a huge emphasis on promoting the farmers markets in the community.
How did you go about getting funding for My Market Club?
For the Lilburn Market, we applied for and received the Neighborhood Fund; which is given out twice a year by the The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. In addition to the funding, we were assigned a coach who checked in with us routinely to make sure the project was going smoothly and provided technical assistance. The Stone Mountain Market is supported by their Downtown Development Authority and they funded the program themselves.
How did you get the My Market Club started at your markets?
Georgia Organics provided us with a toolkit of documents and branding materials. At the beginning of the season, I met with Danielle Moore and she walked me through the process, giving me lots of helpful tips. Given that we also administer Wholesome Wave’s of Georgia’s Double Food Stamp Dollar program at the markets we serve, we were able to print fliers providing information about both programs. In Lilburn, Project Generation Gap “Food Justice Squad” did a weekly canvas of the the local neighborhood and passed out hundreds of fliers out in the community each week the market was open. Each market decided on their own incentives. Lilburn’s most popular giveaway was the $5 shoppers received on their third visit. Stone Mountain shoppers were thrilled that they got an insulated shopping bag at their very first visit!
What response have you seen from having My Market Club at your markets?
We facilitate the My Market program at two different markets this year and I am always thrilled with peoples reactions. They are always so excited to get the free gifts…especially the $5 off! They can’t believe that they just have to keep coming back to the market.
What’s your favorite part of the program so far?
I love how My Market Club provides people in the community and opportunity to get to know each other better. Market Managers, volunteers, vendors and shoppers all get excited about the program… it really lends to building strong relationships in the community.