Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District has awarded a “double your donation” challenge grant to the Oregon City Farmers Market to help support their Power of Produce (POP) Club for kids program.
The District will match, dollar for dollar, all donations up to a total of $3,000! Our challenge grant means the Market could generate $6,000 in total support for POP Club.
And since the Oregon City Farmers Market is a nonprofit organization, you could receive a tax deduction for the amount of your donation.
About POP Club
The POP Club started in May 2011 with seed money provided by a Healthy Eating Active Living grant from Clackamas County. This grant — with additional support from private donors, and from sponsors including the District, Bob’s Red Mill, OnPoint Community Credit Union, McLoughlin Dental Care, and Beavercreek Telephone Company — has carried POP Club through summer 2012.
Our local Clackamas Review highlighted our challenge grant a month ago, but more help is needed. The POP Club needs more funding to carry it through the winter market season and into next summer.
How many kids participate?
Since May 2011, POP Club registrations total 2,649 kids, resulting in 5,232 shopping trips. Many kids come to the Market several times a week!
When registering, kids (ages 5-12) receive a Passport to Health, a POP Club button, a re-usable shopping bag, and a drawstring bag with $2 in Market tokens. The tokens may be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and food plants from Market vendors. POP Club kids receive $2 in tokens at every visit to any of the three Oregon City Farmers Markets.
Growing healthy kids
According to a recent study, one in three kids in the United States are overweight or obese, making this the #1 health concern for American youth today. Recognizing the dramatic increase in childhood obesity, the Oregon City Farmers Market devised the POP Club.
Children who participate in POP Club are empowered to make healthy choices. They can taste fresh, seasonal produce, meet the farmers who produce those foods, and learn that food comes from a farm and not a store.
Many POP Club kids have favorite farmers and they greet them by name with delight.
And many children choose to grow a food garden for the first time. Comments from their parents have been overwhelmingly positive. Many parents reveal that the kids have made them visit the Market more often and that the kids have become much more interested in good food.
Support for local farmers
A less obvious benefit of the POP Club is the support it provides our local farmers. All tokens spent by the kids flow into the hands of local, small family farmers. Helping to make small family farmers more viable has a ripple effect on the local economy.
Helping local farms remain profitable also helps preserve farmland. When farms are profitable, farmers are better able to properly manage our valuable soil and water resources.
The POP Club has received national recognition from the Farmers Market Coalition, from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and from Friends of Family Farmers.
Recognizing the positive impacts of the POP Club program, several farmers markets from across the US and in Canada have sought information from the Oregon City Farmers Market about launching their own POP Clubs!
Brent Hunsberger (the financial writer for the Oregonian) has written about the benefit of the POP Club in helping kids learn better money-management skills.
Please consider supporting POP Club
We ask that you consider supporting the POP Club. Why?
- It impacts our local farm system at all levels
- It changes current and future food buying and food consuming behaviors
- It helps keep local farmland in production and well managed
- For a limited time, your donation will be doubled through the District’s matching grant
If you have questions, please contact Market Manager Jackie Hammond-Williams at 503-734-0192 or email her at [email protected]. She will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
Ready to donate right now?
Please send donations to:
Oregon City Farmers Market POP Club
PO Box 2931
Oregon City, OR 97045