Counting our blessings! The Year in Review

Another wonderful downtown spring, summer and fall market season came to a close in November. With the help of donors, Friends was able to support even more LINK card patrons and farmers in 2014. In 2010 LINK card shoppers spent $2,000 at the downtown market. In 2011, Friends, with the help of donors, launched a new chapter by incentivizing healthy eating with financial benefits given directly each Saturday to shoppers. Each year we’ve increased the amount available to LINK patrons. This year, we’re proud to report that Friends gave $18,024.50 at the Saturday market. LINK patrons spent another $18.564.50 of their own funds. The total spent on healthy food was over $36,000. That’s something to smile about!

OUR DONORS…. should be thanked! Northshore University HealthSystem was our earliest supporter. Now, we have added First Bank and Trust of Evanston and a private Family Foundation to our list of donors. We also add you because so many of you have attended our annual fund raiser with Now We’re Cookin’. This benefit, hosted by Nell Funk, graces our organization with proceeds that support our mission to educate about healthy eating to all regardless of income. Whole Foods of Evanston also helped us this year with a 5% Day and products for our benefit.

MORE KUDOS… should go to our market farmers and vendors who, rain or shine, provide us with delicious and nutritious food. And our chefs!! They also come to the market donating their time and skills using market food to create dishes offered at the market and at our benefit. We hope you didn’t miss the activities provided by D65 teachers-check out this website for potato heads! Heller Bees from Highland Park for the second year has educated us about bees. And heck, while we’re in the thanking mode, we’ll give our board a pat on the back! f you haven’t checked out our website lately, do! You’ll find timely articles, a blog, recipes, photos and more.

FINAL BOW…. should be taken by our hard-working market manager, Myra Gorman, and her assistant, Ryan Tasovac. We’re always being complimented by shoppers for the warm ambiance of the market, the diversity of healthy food and family-friendly educational activities. This praise rightly goes to Myra and Ryan!

BUT WE’RE NOT RESTING ON OUR LAURELS…we’re busy planning for Season 2015. This year will be the 40th anniversary of Evanston’s Farmers Downtown Market. We’ll kick off the celebrations with a spring film festival about farms and food insecurity planned with Campus Kitchens of NU and Evanston Public Library. AS WE CLOSE this year, we thank all of you shoppers and eaters-your important role is more evident everyday as we realize that healthy eating not only is what we need to survive-it’s what the earth needs.