Cultivating Support at the Farmers Market

Cindy Changyit Levin
October 11, 2010

Hi everybody,

I wanted to let everyone know about the fantastic day I had tabling at the Morton Grove (Illinois) Farmer’s Market! We had four RESULTS partners (Thy, Fanny and Jenny and me) on hand to talk to the public about our campaigns and our organization. We focused on child nutrition, which is the issue that the market managers wanted us to address.We had a pretty steady stream of folks coming up to the booth in a chatty and friendly mood. Some people had taken action with me before, some had never heard of us. Some people wrote letters, a few signed up for the action network, and some simply took literature and went away more educated about poverty than before. Win, win, win!

Some highlights

  • A local farmer was happy I could knowledgeably talk to him about farm subsidies and their impact on small farmers and poverty. He joined our action network and would be happy to speak on a panel about that when we mobilize for the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill re-authorization
  • Our local library director grabbed up a donation form to take home, saying “I’ve been meaning to give money to you guys!”
  • Letters were written at the event. A local mom, in poverty herself who immigrated here from Haiti 35 yrs ago, made her young son sit down and write to Jan Schakowksy about the quality of his lunches — which he complains to his mother about all the time — and child nutrition.
  • State representative candidate Dan Biss stopped by to hear about our advocacy work and how we are working on local hunger.
  • A prospective RESULTS member in a district where we know very few constituents drove all the way out to talk to us about our recent work and touch base even though she’s not free to be more active until she graduates.

Takeaways

  1. This is another example of how we are stronger when our global and domestic groups support each other for targeted events. Our biggest outreach event (today) and our biggest fundraiser (May) have happened as joint efforts. Chicago Domestic would not have heard of the opportunity to table here if I didn’t live in this community, but our global group would not have been able to participate if not for the domestic campaigns fitting the guidelines of the market to allow only 501(c)(3)s dealing with local food and nutrition.
  2. Tabling doesn’t just have to happen at “poverty” events. This really helped get our brand more recognized in my community simply by having a great location at the booth and a great banner. (A classy-looking, good banner is key to looking like a legitimate and inviting org. Thanks, Madison, for loaning us yours!) The neighborhood moms that write letters with me really liked seeing us there and made them feel like they were working with a known group that is bigger than our little neighborhood meetings.

Thank you to Thy, Jenny and Fanny, who made this a really fun event!

All the best,
Cindy