Farmers Market taking shape
By Candace Matthews
WINTON – One step closer….that’s the current position of a local group attempting to open a Farmers Market in Winton.
On Monday, the latest in a series of planning meetings was held at the Hertford County Cooperative Extension Office where the effort continued to open the market, hopefully as early as this spring. The planning committee is made up of representatives from the Health Authority, Cooperative Extension, the Town of Winton, and local food producers. This committee is now making decisions and turning the Farmers Market idea into a reality.
The group has been meeting since September of last year. They have obtained grant funding from the Community Transformation Program (CTP), secured earlier in the year, to be used for the project. CTP endorses active living, tobacco free areas, and healthy eating.
James Madson, director of the Hertford County Public Health Authority, explained how the town was selected for the grant.
“The involvement of the local health authority and the identification of the area as a ‘food desert’ allowed for the awarding of the grant money,” he said. “A ‘food desert’ is any area that offers little to no access to nutritional food.”
The grant supplied enough money for the startup of the market and to maintain it for one year.
At Monday’s meeting, visiting speaker Ben Filippo spoke about the “NC 10% Campaign.” The campaign is designed to encourage people to buy 10 percent of their food locally. This encourages healthy eating and supports the local economy.
Filippo has experience in helping get farmers markets started. He is a Restaurant and Events Marketing Liaison from Durham. He puts restaurants in contact with local food growers and farmers markets and helps those markets stay successful.
Filippo stressed that branding local foods is vital to the life of a farmers market. Advertisement, healthy food education, and community involvement will be important for this market to succeed.
The opening day for the Market is pending for May 24. Market hours will be from 3-7 p.m. on Fridays.
The Farmers Market Steering Committee meets monthly at the Hertford County Cooperative Extension Office in Winton. For more information contact Jerry Storey at 398-4239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Farmers Market is on Facebook under Winton Farmers Market.