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Local Donors Help POP Club Meet Challenge!

POP_ClubHere are the ingredients for a great success story: the Oregon City Farmers Market needed funds to continue the Power of Produce (POP) Club, so the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District offered them a challenge grant that would match, dollar for dollar, up to $3,000 in contributions to the POP Club.

$6,000 for POP Club!

The result? An outpouring of donations from local businesses and private citizens giving the POP Club slightly more than the $3,000 they needed to meet the challenge! Those donations mean the total amount of support the POP Club will receive is more than $6,000.

Good through summer 2013

“This amount of money should carry us through to the end of summer 2013!” exclaims Jackie Hammond-Williams. “We are just so grateful for the contributions from the local community that allowed us to take advantage of the challenge grant offered by the Soil and Water Conservation District. They have been instrumental in supporting us in the fight against childhood obesity with our program of connecting kids with fresh local produce and creating healthy eating habits.”

POP Club in second year

Now in its second year, the POP Club introduces kids to the source of their food. Participating kids meet farmers personally, develop relationships with those who grow food, and many are inspired to plant their own food garden with seedlings bought with their POP Club tokens. Farmers benefit from the additional sales generated when kids develop a liking for vegetables or fruit, resulting in additional purchases by parents.

Since May 2011, approximately 2,650 local kids have registered and participated in the POP program. It takes a huge amount of money to keep this nationally recognized program afloat. Often in the height of summer, over $300 in two-dollar wooden tokens go to POP Club participants, empowering the children (ages 5-12) to shop for their own healthy foods and changing eating habits. The $6,000 infusion of funds to the program will generate thousands of kid shopping trips to the farmer’s booths.

Financial support creates more opportunities

Jeff Becker, President of the Oregon City Farmers Market, said, “The financial support from the community and the Conservation District provides a tremendous side benefit to the POP Club program. It allows us to plan for the future and opens the door to new sources of funding.”

In 2012, the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District supported ten farmers markets in Clackamas County with support grants. To read more go to the District website http://conservationdistrict.org/2012/local-farmers-markets-receive-a-new-year-boost.html

We’ll Double Your Donation to POP Club!

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?

POP Club tokens

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.

Widespread recognition

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
Also, please use the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post to tell your friends about this astounding opportunity to influence the next generation of farmers, parents, leaders, and business owners!


If you have questions, please contact Market Manager Jackie Hammond-Williams at 503-734-0192 or email her at marketmanager@orcityfarmersmarket.com. 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

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