Name of Organization Grand Rapids Farmers Market
Address 62817 Great River Road
Jacobson, MN 55752
Phone Number (218) 259-9675
Goal or mission of organization
The mission of the Grand Rapids Farmers Market is to provide children and adults in the Itasca County area with locally-grown food and farm products. We offer a central location to access local, healthy and affordable food. Our other goals include increased education about and support of Itasca area agriculture. The Grand Rapids Farmers Market believes that small, local farms are essential to the local economy as well as local health, and is committed to making economic and educational connections between Itasca area residents and local farmers.
Clientele served Any farmer within a 50-mile radius of Grand Rapids is allowed to join the Farmers Market, as long as all items sold are produced on the farm. Artisans, crafters, and other 'value-added' vendors are voted on by market members, but still must produce their goods within the 50-mile radius.
Our market is open Mondays from 3-6 pm, and Wednesdays and Saturdays 8am-1pm. It is free, open to the public, and offers an array of local goods from up to 40 vendors.
Geographic area served All of the food that we market must be either grown or produced within a 50-mile radius of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. However, we do have a number of customers who visit us while staying at lake homes, cabins, campgrounds and resorts. These folks come mainly from the Twin Cities.
Current state of program We operate a conventional farmers market 3 days a week in our downtown Grand Rapids location. We are a non-profit 501(c)6 corporation (classified as a trade organization or business league, not unlike a chamber of commerce). We offer home-grown and home-made foods and produce sourced from within a 50-mile radius of our location. We are also a source for food education, including recipes and demonstrations, and childhood education on health fruits and vegetables. As a non-profit, we offer access to a broad customer base at a central location for local farmers - access these farmers would almost certainly not have otherwise. And we also provide the community access to food that is more fresh, has drastically less pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and preservatives, and uses much less fossil fuels for shipping than any other food available to consumers in our area.
At this point, we do little to offer access specifically to low income residents as a market, though some individual vendors to accept EBT and Senior Nutrition Assistance. However, we hope to implement market-wide acceptance of food assitance, and are hoping to work more closely with area food banks and pantries, especailly after establishing relationships at this upcoming workshop.
Capacity for local food work We have a wide network of farmers with diverse products: Meats, eggs, fruits, vegetables, preserves, honey and maple syrup, and breads. Our pending acceptance of WIC/SNAP EBT benefits will drastically increase access to these healthy local products. By partnering through organizations like Blue Cross/Blue Shield and its 'Market Bucks' program, Grand Rapids State Bank, with its volunteers and financial expertise, and local grass-roots organizations to promote ourselves to low-income residents, we have a fantastic opportunity to get healthy, local whole foods to those who need them most. The same follows for educating ourselves about the logistics of getting our local food to local food banks and pantries.
Name of contact person Jesse Davis