Since the Hyde Park Farmers Market opened on June 2, local community groups are showing great interest in one of its newest amenities—a free community booth for local businesses and non-profit organizations.
Seven organizations and businesses, including the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Doulas of Chicago, Perfect Peace Massage Therapy, iMentor, the Hyde Park School of Dance, the Chicago Free School, and the Indie City Writers, have all signed up for the weekly Thursday slots, which are available now through October 27, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The booth may be used for community outreach, demonstrations, and other activities, or select fundraising efforts such as bake sales for non-profit groups. The booth allows community groups to reach the farmers market audience without the typical long-term commitment and cost. In addition to the booth, the farmers market also supplies a table and two chairs.
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is scheduled for the booth on June 16, and Jill O’Donovan, Director of Strategic Initiatives, commented, “We look forward to providing information on our current services including STEM programming for youth, our Economic Empowerment Institute, a number of family and childcare support services as well as our sexual violence and support services. We are hopeful that our presence at the booth will not only help to increase awareness of our services but also encourage people to follow us on social media to keep up with our news and events. “
The Chicago Free School is scheduled to have representatives at the booth on July 28. "We are excited to reach out to new families and share more about our school's vision for education and how we seek to empower children," said Lauren Beitler, the school’s founder and one of its teachers.
K.B. Jensen, co-organizer and Founder of Indie City Writers, scheduled for the booth on August 18 added, "The ability to use this space gives us a chance to get the word out about our community of writers, raise funds through book sales, and have fun writing communal poetry with the market-goers. The Hyde Park Farmers' Market is always a vibrant place that draws people together. It's a wonderful opportunity to recruit new members and tell people about our live-lit events and workshops.”
“We are happy to provide additional exposure for community organizations and local businesses to reach the farmers market audience through our new community booth feature,” said Eric Reaves, Program Manager for the South East Chicago Commission, responsible for organizing the market. “It gives these groups the chance to directly connect with area residents and shoppers and share information about important services and programs.”
Interested groups can apply for a date slot by contacting Amy Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.