I love going to farmers markets. If you don’t know what one is, it is similar to a grocery store but usually the vendors are outside under tents selling their homegrown foods. If you have never been to one, I highly recommend you check it out. There are tons of local/fresh produce, jams and honey, flowers, meat and best of all: homemade pastries. Those are to die for! It’s a great place to get your groceries, try some new food and support local businesses.
A few weeks ago a co-worker of mine, Michael Bunn, asked me if I would like to volunteer with him at a free farmers market he has been volunteering at for several years. I was intrigued by the idea so I joined him.
When I walked up to the farmers market, Michael introduced me to Ms. Carol, who oversees this event every month. After talking to her for a few minutes, I found out that she started the free farmers market four years ago as a way to provide food to lower-income families. She said this idea came from another community outreach her church participates in called “Christ Covered on Wheels.” Every Friday night she and a few others take a truck full of prepared meals and deliver them to the homeless in downtown Columbus, Ohio. This gave her the idea to do more.
Every third Wednesday of the month at one of the United Methodist Church locations, the market is open from 3:00 pm-6:00 pm. All the food is donated from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. We handed out bags of corn, green bell peppers, apples, potatoes and much more.
When an individual arrives, he or she is given a ticket and plastic bags, which allows them to shop. Michael told me that last December, 1,007 people came to the free farmers market to receive food. Ms. Carol is hoping more people will learn about the free farmers market and come on a monthly basis.
Any leftover food is then loaded up into trucks and distributed to other local churches or food pantries who can use the items. “Nothing goes to waste, we make sure all of it goes to those in need,” said Ms. Carol.
It’s a rewarding feeling to know you are making a difference in someone’s life. The little things you do for someone, can have a huge impact. The new faces you will meet are a definite bonus. I encourage you to find a place to volunteer. I think you will enjoy it!