Both a think tank—a hothouse for innovation in public markets—and a practitioner organization running the bountiful, vibrant Crescent City Farmers Market, marketumbrella.org is proud of its many accomplishments in 2011 and grateful for your support of our organization and its continued success.
The Crescent City Farmers Market, operating year-round, thrice weekly in three different neighborhoods,
learned about the economic impact of markets across the nation, regulatory best practices, and policy discourse
shared market know-how in central Louisiana, technical expertise with other cities and the Federal Reserve Bank, and nutritional benefits with vulnerable communities at home
grew its technical capacity, created community supported fisheries (CSFs), and inspired the next generation of good eaters
We learned a great deal this year by conducting SEED (Sticky Economy Evaluation Device) studies in New Orleans and three other cities to measure the economic impact of farmers markets, by investigating and synthesizing best practices for governmental regulation of markets; and by participating in policy discourse about innovative food systems.
We learned how 9 farmers markets in Baltimore, Cleveland, and Los Angeles contribute to the economic health of their regions. With support from the Surdna Foundation, we deployed our economic impact measurement tool, SEED, to quantify benefit to vendors, nearby businesses, and the region. Even the smallest of these markets delivers an 18 to 1 benefit/cost ratio to the community’s economy. Additionally farmers markets performed competitively as retail institutions, averaging $1.79 in daily sales/sq. ft. (compared to the national supermarket average of $1.68).
We recently partnered with a veteran urban planner to research and publish recommendations for local authorities keen to strike a balance between entrepreneurial flexibility for farmers markets and responsible regulation: zoning, licensing, taxation, and multi-stakeholder oversight. The full report will be available soon.
We learned how food systems innovations are playing out in the wider world of policy discourse. In June 2011, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Executive Director Richard McCarthy served as a panelist discussing The Apple Pushers, a documentary about NYC food carts. He also contributed to the W. K. Kellogg food policy convening in Asheville, NC that resulted in the development of the Food Policy Lifeline for Children and Communities.
We shared our knowledge in central Louisiana and in Baltimore, helping markets there grow capacity and expand their demographics. And at our own Crescent City Farmers Market, we continued to reach out to underserved and food-vulnerable individuals and families, improving access to healthful produce and better nutrition.
We shared farmers market know-how with markets in Leesville, Natchitoches, and Oberlin. The capacity-building technical assistance was provided with support from the Rapides Foundation. Among other favorable outcomes, Oberlin received a highly coveted Farmers Market Promotion Program grant of $48,637 from the USDA to make the market more sustainable.
We shared methods of integrating government food and nutrition programs into farmers market operations with such practitioners as the city of Baltimore. Working with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, we helped the iconic, 35-year-old, 30,000-square-foot Sunday Baltimore Farmers Market implement electronic benefit transfer (EBT) capabilities for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
Farmers markets are good for everyone! We are sharing the bounty of the Crescent City Farmers Market with an increasingly diverse community. MarketMatch rewards economically vulnerable families and individuals working to improve nutrition.
MarketMatch for SNAP: We raise philanthropic dollars to match existing federal programs that target families battling obesity and poverty. Since 2008, we have increased SNAP transactions by 424%. In 2011, 1,545 SNAP transactions garnered $39,664 in direct sales and another $9,755 through MarketMatch.
MarketMatch for Seniors: Through MarketMatch for Seniors, since 2008 we have increased participation in the USDA Senior/Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) program by 132%. We designed and deployed Farmers Market Bingo at senior centers, raised philanthropic dollars, and stoked the flames of excitement among a generation that still knows how to cook.
MarketMatch for WIC/FMNP and extended families: Through an innovative incentive campaign, Food for Families/Food for Seniors and WIC clinics distributed $10 market vouchers for use during a 3-month pilot, with the goal of changing nutritional behavior by involving everyone who sits at the family table—parents, grandparents, and children. Cross-generational customers from all over the city responded and attended the market.
• White, Asian, other
Households Feeding Children
• Feeding a child on a regular basis
• Not on a regular basis
• Under 61
Learning about Nutrition
• Feeding a child on a regular basis
• Households with children prepping or cooking food
Impact Measurement: We grew the Crescent City Farmers Market in ways that are quantifiable. For more than a decade, we have been developing a trio of tools to measure the triple bottom-line attributes of successful markets. SEED measures the financial capital, NEED the social capital, and FEED the human capital.
In April 2011, we presented the trio of tools to the Federal Reserve Bank Community Affairs Research Conference in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, we put these tools to work.
We deployed SEED in Baltimore, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, and New Orleans. The New Orleans study shows that our markets’ combined economic impact has increased by 15% from 2010 to 2011. Not bad for a community emerging from recession! Moreover, in 2011, sales per customer visit to the Saturday location equaled $31.50—a 38% increase since 2002. Why? Product diversification and the introduction of more proteins and ordinary foodstuffs, such as rice, have turned an “event market” into a shopping market.
Markets grow community cohesion and healthy relations to food. The NEED study sheds light on how the Market grows trust between disparate groups: Shoppers indicate that when given choice, 43% select vendors whom they favor (as opposed to other considerations, such as price or convenience). Similarly, vendors demonstrate their trust in shoppers: 56% allow customers to purchase on credit. Market neighbors also share a knowledge of and affection for the Market, with 67% shopping there.
Our cutting-edge FEED tool evaluates links between consumer behavior and the food environment. By providing direct contact to food producers, markets disseminate culinary knowledge. 78% of adult market shoppers indicate that markets have introduced them to new foods. Moreover, 81% indicate that the Market influences the way they shop elsewhere. We will be publishing more results from these studies and offering these evaluation services to other markets.
We launched the first Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) project in the deep South. During Lent 2011, we piloted the Crescent City Supported Fisheries at the Thursday Market and introduced new Market shoppers to Louisiana fishers. Not only did 35 families serve fresh Louisiana seafood on Fridays, but 73% reported preparing certain seafoods for the first time.
We grew exciting new partnerships with educators and civic activists who share our concern for the next generation of good eaters. We worked with Edible Schoolyard New Orleans; LINKS, Inc.; and elementary schools and camps with USDA programs serving more than 50% of students.
Meet Me at the Market: Through classroom and market instruction, we reached 709 children ages 5–8. Before the spring semester visits, 24% of these kids had never tasted a Louisiana strawberry, 51% had never met a farmer, and 50% had never attended a farmers market.
Marketeer Club: The club grew by 39% since 2009, with 124 children receiving $5 in Market tokens on their birthdays in 2011 to help begin the lifelong love affair with food that is good, clean, and fair.
Growing New Leaders: We grew new food systems leaders by hosting an internship program with Bulldogs Across America, the LSU School of Public Health, and the Robertson Scholars Program.
Growing New Partnerships: We are especially grateful to growing partnerships with Catholic Charities, City of New Orleans Health Department, Eat for Life, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, Kingsley House, Links Inc., Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Public Health Institute, LSU School of Nursing, and the Prevention Resource Center at Tulane University.
We went from 165 to over 1000 online subscribers to marketumbrella.org, surged to 3,795 Facebook fans, and added 207 Twitter followers. Please follow us online!
Alfred W. Brown, III
AM & GC Freeman III
Ann & Shaw Thompson
Anna Marie Seafood, LLC
Arthur W. Huguley, IV
C.C. & Billy Langenstein
Catherine H Cary
Charles & Edith Dunn
Charlie & Lynn Smith
Christine & Joe Montz
Dr. Donald C. Faust
Dr. Linda Usdin & Steen Bingler
Entergy New Orleans
Fortune Fish Company
H. Mortimer Favrot, Jr.
James & Mary Kilroy
Jane & Chip Leyens
Jill & Marc Winston
June E. Pennick
Karin Smith & Ernie-Ro Bread Tastet
Kia & Christy Brown
L.L. Jay Schwall
Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company*
Leah and Sandy Whann
Linda & Pierre Conner
Lynn F. Dicharry
Mary & Miles Clements
Mary An Godshall
Mary K. Zervigon
Mathilde & Richard Currence
Monique & Bob McCleskey
Mrs. H.D. Graham
Nan Mauthe Barlow
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Randolph & Denise Sassone
Rebecca M Currence
Richard & Tish McCarthy III
Rosemarie B. Fowler
Roy O. Priest
Rufus M. Brown
Sarah and Tommy Usdin
Suzanne W. Kearney
Sybil M. & D. Blair Favrot Family Fund
Thomas and Dee Igou
Three Brothers Farm, LLC
Tia N Roddy
Cathy & Hunter Pierson
Ellen and Mac Ball
Kenneth & Margaret Saer Beer
Penny & Jim Coulter
Reily Foods Company
Reily Foods Company*
Republic Beverage Company *
Ruth U. Fertel Foundation
Standard Coffee Company
Wallace Landry Family Foundation
Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF)
LA Department of Agriculture & Forestry
F.B. Heron Foundation
Surdna Foundation, Inc.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
* in-kind donations
Shoppers, farmers, fishers, partners, supporters, and staff contribute to our success. Our local public face—the Crescent City Farmers Market—is both a platform for innovation and an initial point of distribution for a regional community of family enterprises that harvest and sell the fruits of their labor directly to shoppers three times weekly, rain or shine, in the heart of New Orleans.
We urge you to help us raise our market umbrellas year-round and for years to come. Please consider supporting the Crescent City Farmers Market with a tax-deductible contribution to marketumbrella.org.
Co-founder, Executive Director
Margaret S. Beer
President, Board of Directors
Please contribute online at marketumbrella.org or mail contributions to
Cultivating the field of public markets for public good
• opens Saturday Market
• celebrates First Learned Festival of Heat
• publishes 1st Green Paper: “Barriers to Growth”
• establishes endowment at the Greater New Orleans Foundation
• introduces commercial fishers to the family of Market vendors
• opens Tuesday Market at Uptown Square
• launches Farmers Market Nutrition Program for seniors
• launches Thursday Market in Mid City
• attends UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa
• establishes the “Green Plate Special,” connecting chefs to their public
• establishes “Festivus: A Holiday Market for the Rest of Us”
• creates the White Boot Brigade
• establishes Wednesday Market in partnership with the historic French Market
• creates wooden scrip system, begins accepting SNAP (food stamps)
• Hurricane Katrina
• reopens the Tuesday Market 10 weeks after Katrina
• takes White Boot Brigade campaign to NYC, is featured on the Today Show
• reopens Saturday Market
• launches Crescent Fund: makes recovery grants to Mississippi Association of Cooperatives, Mary Queen of Vietnam, and Real Food Gulf Coast
• conducts Transact research project in Brazil and Katrina zone
• takes White Boot Brigade to San Francisco
• graduates from fiscal agent Loyola University to set up independent 501(c)(3) organization
• produces 30+ “Go Fish” teaching videos
• launches MarketMatch for Senior/FMNP
• designs and conducts Farmers Market Bingo teaching games for 600 seniors
• launches MarketMatch for SNAP and WIC/FMNP
• conducts Transact research project field-testing FEED (Food Environment Evaluation Device)
• BP oil spill
• launches first CSF (Community Supported Fisheries) in the Deep South during Lent
• with Wholesome Wave, launches MarinersMatch to provide grocery relief to BP-affected fishing families
• wooden token transactions surpass $373K
• presents Transact evaluation methodology to the Federal Reserve Research Conference in Arlington, VA
• conducts SEED study at 9 markets in 3 cities
• launches Meet Me at the Market teaching tours for 1,000 grade-schoolers
• The MarketMatch family of incentives surpass $42K
• increases SNAP transactions by 424% since 2008
• joins forces with Fair Food Network, Wholesome Wave and Roots of Change to measure SNAP incentives
Margaret Saer Beer, President
Ann Thompson, Vice President
Jonah Dowling, Treasurer
Kerry Jones, Recording Secretary
Entergy New Orleans, Inc.
Kia Silverman Brown
Avery B. Corenswet
Ochsner Health System
Albert “Rusty” Gaudé, Jr.
LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant
The Louisiana Weekly
Stephanie B. Barksdale
Tulane University, Social Entrepreneurship Programming
Louisiana Public Health Institute
Danielle Paciera, RD, CCN
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Robért Fresh Market
The State of Louisiana Office of Public Health (WIC)
Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and B&B Farms
Tulane University’s School of Continuing Studies
Community Development Concepts, Inc.
author and host of Louisiana Eats!
Loyola University New Orleans Twomey Center for Peace through Justice
* Crescent City Farmers Market Co-Founder
Email email@example.com for downloadable PDFs of our 2011 financial statement and 990 filing.