Operated by Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI), one of the many great things about the Market is the free money that gets distributed to CalFresh beneficiaries and WIC and senior shoppers. More than $8,100 was given away in 2019 in the form of vouchers that can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables.
Imagine the choppy movements of a two-minute time lapse video as a weekly town square appears and disappears in downtown Mount Shasta over the course of five and a half hours on a Monday afternoon. It begins with the 400 block of Mt. Shasta Boulevard vacant. Vehicles arrive and get unpacked. A row of white canopies arises as people scurry about. Soon lines of people form in front of the canopies, a cow bell sounds, live music is heard at warp speed. Customers are seen rushing about with greens bulging out of bags and other bags and boxes filled with fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, plants, baked goods, chocolate, jars of soup, cups of kombucha, other prepared foods, soaps and tinctures. Small groups of people quickly form and disperse. Soon the lines and most of the people disappear, the canopies descend, vehicles are packed and stutter away, leaving the street momentarily free of activity, as it was at the start.
That scene, at real life speed, happened every Monday afternoon from May 20 through Oct. 14 in 2019 during the 20th anniversary season of the Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market. The 21st season will begin next May.
If the video could take in a wider view from high above, it would show all the farmers, ranchers, prepared food vendors and artisans traveling to the Market from their business locations in many parts of Siskiyou County.
Operated by Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI), one of the many great things about the Market is the free money that gets distributed to CalFresh beneficiaries and WIC and senior shoppers.
More than $8,100 was given away in 2019 in the form of vouchers that can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables.
Because of a grant JEDI received from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI), the Farmers’ Market provided $6,980 in Market Match (free money!) for CalFresh beneficiaries this year. “That is a huge boost to our farm and food producers and our CalFresh families!” said Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market Manager Paj Kane.
The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant program, according to information on its website, was established by the 2014 Farm Bill to incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP clients. The FINI grant program is collaboratively administered by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. See: www.fns.usda.gov/snap/FINI-Grant-Program
Because of the North State Giving Tuesday fundraising done by JEDI, the Farmers’ Market was able to match WIC and Senior shoppers with $1,150, “another boost to our farmers and WIC families,” Kane said.
As the aforementioned yet-to-be-produced video shows, it takes a community to grow a farmers’ market.
The Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market thanks all the businesses on the 400 block of Mt. Shasta Blvd., especially Burger Express.
The Market also thanks the City of Mt. Shasta Public Works Department for their help with the street closures, and the City of Mt. Shasta in general for supporting the Market every year by granting a Special Event Permit.
The 2019 season concluded with a potluck hosted by JEDI after the Oct. 14th Market in Parker Plaza. It was held in appreciation of the dedicated farmers, ranchers, other food producers, artisans and volunteers who made the 20th anniversary season of the Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market a success.