Wishing You a Bountiful 2015
December 26, 2014
We wish you all the ingredients for a happy New Year: good friends, good health, and good food!
As we look back on 2014, we are grateful for you—our community of friends and allies in the good food movement. With your help and support, we have made big strides over the past year. Here are some highlights:
We operated 153 farmers markets with a total of 115 vendors.
We introduced six new permanent vendors and hosted a dozen popup vendors at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, providing a high-profile venue for small, local farmers and food entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Recent additions include Lonely Mountain Farm, Devil’s Gulch Ranch, Tomales Farmstead Creamery, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, Chowdown Farm, and Stemple Creek Ranch.
We hosted 56 free seasonal cooking demos for more than 1,800 attendees. We also launched our Tuesday Culinary Market Tours to offer visitors an insider’s look at the farmers market, co-led by our market chef and a guest chef.
We introduced 1,221 elementary school students from 51 classes to new fruits and vegetables through Foodwise Kids, a free farmers market field trip and cooking class program. In 2015, we plan to double the number of students served. We will also partner with Bay Leaf Kitchen this summer to host two week-long farmers market camps that teach hands-on cooking basics using fresh local produce, culminating in an activity-filled overnight stay at a local farm.
We supported four school gardens and served over 100 high school students through Schoolyard to Market, our youth gardening and entrepreneurship program, teaching them to grow food and understand the food system. The students set up booths at the Ferry Plaza on nine Saturdays to sell their school garden produce, plant starts, and honey. We also welcomed a new San Francisco public high school, the Academy of Arts and Sciences, into the program.
3,400 market visitors stopped by our education tent to learn about the drought, pollinators, biodiversity, soil health, and food labels.
On CUESA farm tours, we brought 285 eaters to 12 local farms and food producers for on-the-ground experiences with the people and places behind our food (sometimes even harvesting it themselves!).
We offered seven talks and panel discussions and co-hosted our first food-focused candidate forum, a debate between two local State Assembly candidates, in partnership with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance.
We published more than 50 original articles about vital food issues in our weekly e-letter, reaching thousands of readers (like you!).
We assisted more than 400 chefs representing 225 restaurants, caterers, and food businesses in sourcing local products from the farmers market through our chef shopping program.
Last but not least, we welcomed a new Executive Director, Marcy Coburn. With her leadership, we expect to have an even more impressive list of accomplishments to share with you next year!
We look forward to many more exciting developments in 2015, including the introduction of Market Match, a program that will incentivize the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables by doubling the spending power of CalFresh shoppers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It’s not too late to give to this important program.
All of this would not be possible without you. We especially want to thank our community of 250 volunteers who donated 5,500 hours at our educational programs, farmers markets, and fundraising events. If you’d like to be more involved, join us at our new volunteer orientation on January 28.
Here’s to a bountiful 2015, and we look forward to growing the movement with you in the New Year!
PICTURED ABOVE: Standing: Christine, Susan, Calvin, Carter, Tommy, Lulu, Andrea, George, Carrie, Cindy, Marcy, Brie. Kneeling: Selena, Teresita, Julie. Meet our full staff.
Photo by Amanda Lynn Photography.