Support the Market. Support Our Vendors. Support Our Community.
The COVID-19 outbreak is placing great financial strain on the Fulton Street Farmers Market and its vendors. Your gift will help sustain the operation of FSFM and provide needed financial relief to the growers and food sellers who are continuing to serve the community at the market during this difficult season.
Fulton Street Farmers Market is more than a place to do our grocery shopping. For many of us, it’s as central to our lives and to the rhythms of our weeks as going to church or eating at our favorite restaurant. For 98 years, it’s been the place where the people of Grand Rapids are nourished as much by conversations with friends and neighbors as they are by food grown with care. It’s a place to share our values and our traditions and our hopes for the future. Like many small nonprofits, Fulton Street Farmers Market is struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve had to cancel or indefinitely postpone important fundraisers like our Spring Soup Event and our Summer Nights Series. Social distancing requirements limit the number of stalls we’re able to rent out on market days and the number of customers who can shop at any one time. The restriction on the sale of nonessential goods prevents us from offering stalls to artisans or renting our space out for events — both important sources of revenue. Taken together, the market is facing the real possibility of falling short in its financial commitments this year. At the same time, the vendors that make Fulton Street Farmers Market a wonderful place to shop and eat are also feeling the strain. With most restaurants shuttered, many of our growers and food producers have seen their earnings cut in half. Some of them rely on sales at other farmers markets in addition to ours — and nearly all of those markets are closed. With the number of farmers in our state decreasing year after year, we’re concerned this pandemic could make this the last season for some. But all is not lost! The market has weathered many ups and downs in our century of operation — and we’ve been able to do it because this is a community that values its farmers, believes in the importance of shared spaces, and cares for its institutions. That’s why the Fulton Street Farmers Market is launching its Fulton Street Relief Fund today and inviting anyone who has experienced the pleasure of a perfectly ripe strawberry in June or that first ear of sweetcorn in late summer, to help us protect this treasured community asset.
What Your Gift Does:
Every dollar donated to the Fulton Street Relief Fund will support both the operation of our farmers market and the vendors who sell here. 50% of your gift will go toward the market’s operating expenses. The other 50% will be given back to our vendors in the form of credits on their accounts, which they can use to cover the cost of renting a stall at our market. Broadly speaking, if we hit our goal, we’ll have covered one month of operating expenses.