Harvest Market Celebrates National Farmers Market Week!

FarmersMarketUnited States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proclaimed August 3 – 9 as National Farmers Market Week.  In celebration, the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, organized by the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin and presented by Alexian Brothers Health Systems,  will be having the United States Post Office out between 11am – 2pm selling four new Farmers Market stamps, Sheets of 20 Farmers Market stamps sell for $9.80 and will be available, and there will be a “Round Fruit Roll” raffle where anyone visiting the market can roll bruised fruit into bushel baskets for a chance to win of the three market baskets of local produce and products from the vendors.

This year marks the 15th annual National Farmers Market Week and also the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market’s 15th season.  Since the USDA began declaring National Farmers Market Week, the number of farmers markets has more than doubled, from 2,863 markets in 2000 to over 8,000 in 2013.  There are over 347 farmers markets in Illinois alone. These numbers have continued to rise in 2014 as farmers markets become fresh food mainstays for shoppers across all socio-economic, political, and ethnic ranges. Farmers markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space.

The Downtown Elgin currently has 25 vendors selling a wide variety of products, including 5 vegetable and fruit farms, three bread and cupcake businesses, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, spices, honey, soaps and lotions, concession stands, art and jewelry, cheese, tea and coffee, jams and jellies, etc. In the most recent season, the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market generated just through their token systems sales (for those who wanted to use their credit, debit, or Link card) $17,210 for these local producers, a valuable economic boost for the region.  A large part was due to the partnership of BMO Harris Bank who in 2013 and this season has offered customers with the Link card a double value match up to $20 for every amount they spend with their card.

“Farmers markets grow healthy farms, healthy people, and healthy communities” says Pat Stieren, Executive Director of the Illinois Farmers Market Association.  “During a slow economic recovery, farmers markets are stand-out successes in delivering triple bottom line benefits while making entrepreneurship work in communities large and small.  During Farmers Market Week, we invite everyone to celebrate their local farmers markets and enjoy fresh local food from America’s most innovative farmers.

For additional information about the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market contact Market Manager Jennifer Benson at 847-488-1456, e-mail elginharvestmarket@gmail.com or visit www.ElginHarvestMarket.com.

New Link Double Couponing Program at the Harvest Market

2013_HM_LogoIn partnership with BMO Harris Bank and Making Kane County Fit for Kids, the Downtown Neighborhood Association invites Downtown Elgin Harvest Market Link/EBT customers to double their shopping pleasure this season with the market’s new Link Double Couponing program.

Beginning June 6, Harvest Market shoppers can swipe their Link/EBT cards at the market’s information booth to be eligible to receive up to an additional $20 in Link tokens to shop with per week, courtesy of a generous financial contribution from BMO Harris Bank.

“The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market helps to fill a critical need in our community,” said BMO Harris Bank Market President Jeff Blanchette. “I am proud that we are able to assist The Downtown Neighborhood Association in their mission to help residents get access to locally grown and sustainably produced food while providing an outlet for educational opportunities on sustainable practices and healthy living.”

The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market’s Link/EBT program, is one of only two such farmer’s market programs in all of Kane County, and is made possible by Making Kane County Fit for Kids thru a grant funded by the Fit For Kids’ Funders Consortium.

“Our Harvest Market has been so blessed to have great partners in the local community, like BMO Harris Bank and the Fit for Kids Funders Consortium, who have made it a priority to help all area residents have access to local foods no matter their economic status,” said Harvest Market Manager Jennifer Benson.

The 14th season of the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market begins Thursday, June 6 with brand new hours from 9am-2pm at 200 N. Grove Avenue across from the Gail Borden Public Library, The Centre of Elgin and The Hemmens. The market runs every Thursday thru October 3. For more information about the Harvest Market, visit www.ElginHarvestMarket.com.

View the Harvest Market’s Link Double Couponing Flyer in English >

View the Harvest Market’s Link Double Couponing Flyer in Spanish >