The Daily Dirt

Norcross Community Market to Open This Summer

13006710_1595252467459530_5421601073765044855_nNorcross (Gwinnett County), GA (May 19, 2016) – ‘A place to imagine.’ It’s a simple phrase that evokes emotion and a sense of pride for families living in Norcross. Beautifully maintained and passionately promoted, the City of Norcross is a community where anyone could imagine themselves happy, healthy and thriving. Those are the same feelings that Sustainable Norcross, the local nonprofit hosting the market, hopes to extend to the Norcross Community Market opening on June 4th.

Sustainable Norcross, with the support of the City of Norcross and the Norcross Downtown Development Authority, is partnering with the Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) (a project of Project Generation Gap Inc. funded by the Foodwell Alliance) to create a farmers market that is shaping up to serve as a best practice model for markets across the state. The Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) is an association of farmers markets, producers and other good food movement advocates committed to improving access to healthy foods in Georgia.

“Essentially, our goal is to make the Norcross Community Market a huge success. Our experience and research have given us a good understanding of the key components of a sustainable farmers market. Our plan incorporates many of those practices here in Norcross,” said GFMA’s Executive Director Sagdrina Jalal.

It is clear that local farmers markets have an impact. In addition to increasing access to fresh, nutritious food, The Farmers Market Coalition finds that markets support healthy communities, promote environmental stewardship, support economic development and preserve America’s livelihoods and farmland.
So, what does all of this look like for Norcross? Envision a place where people of different backgrounds, socio-economic status, ages and lifestyles can connect with each other and local producers; learning more about the value of having seasonal fresh food available in their community.

By working together, GFMA and Sustainable Norcross are creating a model for success. Collaborations are a big part of how it comes together. Through its double value coupon program, Wholesome Wave Georgia will work with the Norcross Community Market to incentivize Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as the food stamp program) customers to shop at the local market. Shoppers will double the value of their SNAP benefits by participating in the program.

Open Hand Atlanta will offer live cooking demonstrations at the market. Volunteer food educators have been trained in their Cooking Matters curriculum and will offer sample bites of meals and snacks that use food items available for purchase at the market. Market attendees will walk away with easy and tasty menu ideas. Local chefs will also showcase their food offerings at the market, offering shoppers ways to kick their experience with local food up a notch.

The market will feature entertainment and include activities geared for singles, couples and families. In addition, other local nonprofits will have an opportunity to connect with their community. The food will be fresh and the experience invaluable.

Jalal sees the future of the Norcross Market as bright, “Through our partnership we are making all of the key connections. However, it is important for the community to come out and support this exciting project that Sustainable Norcross has taken on. When folks come to the market, they will see that there is something for everyone; every palate and every budget. We are clear on the correlation between successful markets and successful communities and Norcross has what’s needed for this to be a huge success.”

Norcross Community Market Information: Location: Webb Park, 5 College St. Days of Operation: Saturdays beginning June 4, 2016 – August 2016 (excluding July 2nd) Hours: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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