The Moses Lake Farmers Market is held twice a week between May and October. One market is on Saturdays between 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM from May to October, while the second is on Wednesdays between 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM from June to September. In 2015, CSML established a presence at the Saturday Farmers Market every third weekend starting in June and ended in September. The VISTA promoted the program by handing out flyers, sign-up sheets for updates, and displayed posters on hunger and food waste. In addition, the VISTA had a donation jug and asked customers to “help Harvest Against Hunger.” CSML collected nearly $150 dollars.
Be sure to have the following supplies on hand when you are promoting a gleaning program at a farmers market:
When promoting the program it helps to have something interesting to draw people towards the table. Brochures and informational packets help but do not necessarily attract people to the table. Some items that help are poster boards of the activities that CSML has done to alleviate hunger, as well as facts about hunger to help people understand the organization’s mission and the actions that the organization has taken. The VISTA started the season with a poster board highlighting the gleaning program as well as the community garden to show people what CSML has done to collect produce. Toward the end of the farmer’s market season, the VISTA created a poster board highlighting Harvest Against Hunger specifically, as well as statistics on hungry people, food waste, and what can be done. This caught the attention of farmers market customers because there was something visible with important facts.
Community Services of Moses Lake (CSML) strives to empower the community so that “Friends help friends feed the hungry.” CSML houses the Moses Lake Food Bank and is the distribution hub for 33 partner food banks in 5 counties in Central Washington. These counties include the 3 largest agricultural producers in Washington; Yakima, Benton and Grant counties. In 2012 CSML distributed approximately 120,000 pounds of fresh produce. With the presence of the Harvest Against Hunger VISTA in 2013, that number increased to well over 300,000 lbs. of produce. In 2014, only 68,750 pounds of produce were donated, but in 2015, over 99,675 pounds of produce was collected and distributed. Overall, CSML has collected approximately 757,155 pounds of fresh produce from farmers in the area.