Power of Produce returns to Crookston Farmers Market July 1

Times Report
The Power of Produce (PoP) program will return to the Crookston Farmers Market beginning on July 1.

The Crookston Farmers Market, Polk County Public Health (PCPH), Polk County Wellness Coalition, and University of Minnesota Extension – SNAP-Ed announce the return of the popular Power of Produce (PoP) Club to the 2021 Crookston Farmers Market season beginning on the Thursday’s July 1 market day.

The 2019 program boasted great outcomes in meeting the goals of PoP Club to 1) increase family attendance at the market; 2) improve the eating behavior of children; and 3) increase the customer base and revenue for local growers. After 12 weeks of the PoP Club in 2019, 677 youth 18 and under and 266 adults 65 and older (PoP+) signed up for the program and made a total of 943 visits to the market. This equaled $1,826 reimbursed to local farmers.

Some of the program’s feedback included: “The kids had a blast being in charge of picking vegetables”; “It encouraged us to keep attending and to get extra vegetables that we might not have otherwise purchased”; “Great program, hope to see it back again.” Numerous comments were also received from participants who tried new fruits or vegetables.

PoP aims to create new eating habits and encourage learning where our food comes from; it also has the potential to play a key role in building healthy, prospering communities. The program encourages children, families and seniors to attend the farmers market every week, creating healthy food purchasing and eating habits, preventing chronic disease and potentially increasing the market’s customer-base and the revenue of local growers. The PoP Club also aims to create a social norm around farmers markets. In coordination with other market activities, the program helps to create an equitable space that community members want to visit each week and make part of their normal shopping routine.

All weekly attendees age 0-18 or 65 years of age and older have access to $2 worth of healthy fruits and/or vegetables. Sign up for the PoP Club and PoP Plus program and voucher distribution will start during the market day on July 1 during the market hours of 4 to 6:30 p.m. Vouchers will be issued during subsequent market days (except for during Ox Cart Days) until funds run out.

Organizers extend our thanks to those that supported and partook in the first two years of PoP in 2018 and 2019. They continue to seek local sponsors to help continue to grow the PoP program. If you or your organization would like to donate as a sponsor, contact PoP Program Coordinator Geri Lynn at glp8001@gmail.com. Time is also an appreciated donation – if you would like to volunteer at the upcoming 2021 market season for the PoP Program, you can sign-up at z.umn.edu/crookstonpop or contact Geri Lynn. For more information on the PoP program, contact Megan Hruby, U of MN Extension – SNAP-Ed by email at jans0221@umn.edu, or Kirsten Fagerlund, PCPH at kirsten.fagerlund@co.polk.mn.us or Amanda Lien, PCPH at amanda.lien@co.polk.mn.us.