Food Education Program (FEd)
The Maryland Farmers Market Association (MDFMA) offers a Food Education Program, using online and at-market resources to educate farmers market customers on how to select, store, and prepare local, seasonal produce.
MDFMA’s Food Education Program (FEd) serves two primary goals:
- To bolster farmers’ sales at participating farmers markets
- To enrich farmers market customers’ knowledge of how to utilize and engage with food obtained at the market
How It Works
The program will run for twelve weeks, from June-August, and will feature one local, seasonal produce item each week. MDFMA will provide participating markets with a weekly program schedule, correlating with the peak season for each vegetable. MDFMA will develop all promotional and informational materials for market managers and/or farmers to share online and at the market.
Online Resources: for Social Media, Newsletters, and Websites
MDFMA will develop a suite of materials for market managers and farmers to use and share. These include:
- Graphics with information on nutrition, selection, storage, and preparation of the weekly vegetable. The graphics can be reposted on markets’ social media, newsletters, websites, and other outlets. This information will also be available in PDF form for download or print.
- Short blurbs promoting the weekly vegetable, tailored to each product, for market managers to share on their social media platforms.
- Images formatted for use on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and e-newsletters.
- A program hashtag for use in all program-related posts, linking the individual markets’ communications to a larger, statewide initiative.
Print and Interactive Resources: for Use at Market
At the start of the market season, MDFMA will provide participating market managers with the following items for distribution at the farmers market:
- Recipe cards featuring the weekly vegetable
- Market managers will distribute these cards to farmers selling the weekly vegetable, farmers will then display the recipe cards alongside the weekly vegetable, promoting the item at point-of-sale.
- Frequent Shopper FEd Punch Card
- To encourage shoppers to purchase the weekly vegetable, MDFMA will create a FEd Program frequent participant “punch card.”
- Punch cards will be available at the central market table.
- After purchasing the product of the week, customers show the item to the staff/volunteer at the central market table and receive a punch on their card.
- At the end of the market season, customers with at least seven punches can submit their punch card to MDFMA for entry into a MDFMA-sponsored raffle. Markets may offer an additional prize at their choosing. Customers who complete all twelve punches will be eligible to earn additional prizes.
Program Activity MDFMA Role Market Manager Role Online Resources
(for Social Media, Newsletters and Websites)
Develop twelve graphics (one for each weekly produce item) for market managers to share widely in their social media and online communications – provided to participating market managers prior to market season start. Upload and share graphics onto social media, newsletters, blogs, etc. each week. Recipe Cards Develop Develop and print twelve, double-sided recipe cards – provided to participating market managers prior to market season start. Distribute recipe cards to farmers for display at point-of-sale. Frequent Shopper FEd Punch Card Provide market managers with punch cards and punch tool – provided to participating market managers prior to market season start.
Facilitate the raffle at the end of the season.
Punch participant’s card when customers show they purchased the weekly produce item.
Collect participants’ cards at end of season and send to MDFMA for raffle.
Questions? Contact: Yael Ben-Chaim for more information.