Hopelink has engaged in produce recovery from farmers markets near their service centers for many years. If you would like to recover produce at the market, you will need to contact the Farmers Market Coordinator to determine if they have an established process or if other emergency food providers are already collecting at that market.
Market donations are collected from farmers at the end of the market day. Farmers will often donate delicate leafy green vegetables and other produce that might not make it to the next opportunity for sale. Tell each individual donor about your program and recognize their individual contributions. With more information, some farmers may begin to bring surplus food for donation to the market rather than composting it at the farm.
If the market coordinator is willing, you can also consider staffing a table at the market to do outreach and raise awareness about your program, as well as collect Plant a Row and cash donations. This will help to facilitate relationships with farmers and potential volunteers, as well as enhance program visibility in the local community. With appropriate marketing and communication, farmer’s market recovery is a wonderful opportunity for community building.