Last year, Boca Grande Farmers Market first introduced the Power of Produce Program. It is a way for farmers markets to meet their educational missions through the POP Club: Power of Produce!
This year, member organizations of the Farmers Market Coalition have the opportunity to compete for Chipotle’s sponsorship of POP Clubs at 75 Farmers Market Coalition markets nationwide!
The POP Club empowers children to make healthy food choices by engaging them in educational activities at the farmers market, and putting buying power directly into their hands. The program gives children at least $2 in market currency to spend on fresh produce every time they participate in a POP Club activity. POP Club provides a fun opportunity for children to engage in the local food system through conversations directly with farmers, educational games and demonstrations, and exposure to new fruits and vegetables.
The Chipotle sponsorship would take resources even further by providing finalists with the physical materials and games needed to run the program, and up to $2,000 in farmers market vouchers for POP Club Passport activities.
The sponsored markets will be required to offer POP Club programming on four market days, anytime from July through September. However, markets are free to offer POP Club more often if desired. Sponsored markets will be required to submit two very brief reports on their activities throughout their POP Club season.
Chipotle has recently been highlighted in the news as being a forerunner in healthy food choices within their restauraunt menu offerings. Chipotle is proud to support farmers markets in their efforts to educate consumers and create opportunities for farmers. Chipotle is committed to Food With Integrity: responsibly raised animals, classic cooking techniques, whole ingredients, the environment, and local produce.
Support from the Patricia Miller Memorial Fund has also helped to bring the POP Club to life. The fund was created in memory of FMC Program Advisor, Stacy Miller’s, mother, who was a great supporter of FMC and often a cheerful presence during FMC meetings caring for her grandson Fionn.
Market Founder Shauna Lee Lange said, “If Chipotle has developed an engaging, fun, and educational program to get our children, residents, and island visitors to think more deeply about food choices, then we want to be first in line to avail the community of everything such a partnership could produce. In fact, we see it as our duty to do so to help Boca Grande become as long-term sustainable as possible.”