North

Yellowknife Farmers Market starting pay-it-forward system for summer

The market will collect donations and hand out $15 vouchers for people in need to buy food and merchandise.

Market will collect donations and hand out $15 vouchers for people in need to buy food, merchandise

The Yellowknife Farmers Market is working to make the market more accessible to people of all walks of life this year, by introducing a pay-it-forward system. (Hannah Eden/YKFM)

The Yellowknife Farmers Market is working to make the market more accessible to people of all walks of life this year, by introducing a pay-it-forward system.

People can donate money to the farmers market, and it will go toward $15 vouchers that will be given to people in need who want to buy food or merchandise.

"We've been getting a bit of feedback over the years that not everyone can take part because there is a financial burden," said Jordee Reid, a member on the market's board of directors.

The market takes place every Tuesday between June and September at Yellowknife's Somba K'e Civic Plaza. (Hannah Eden/YKFM)

The market takes place every Tuesday between June and September at Somba K'e Civic Plaza. Reid said the board didn't want people to feel excluded from the "community spirit" of the market because they felt like they had to buy things in order to participate.

Reid said the board is still working out a lot of the details, but it will have a booth at the market where people can donate. 

Other new additions

The board is also hosting workshops for new recruits in early April, to encourage new vendors to join the market.

"It is always exciting to have new items and new things to peruse," said Reid. The workshops will help mentor and guide new recruits with the process, which Reid calls an "undertaking."

Reid said in the summer of 2016, 60 per cent of vendors dropped out before the market even started.

"There was no support before that for new vendors. And so we realized as a board that we needed to help provide something like that if we wanted these new vendors to stick around."

The Yellowknife Farmers Market will have a new pay-it-forward program this summer so everyone can take part. (Hannah Eden/YKFM)

Reid said the market is also pushing its harvesters booth this year, which has more flexibility than a regular booth. It's meant for backyard gardeners who may have too much produce one week, but can't consistently fill a booth all summer.

Gardeners can use the booth sporadically, and don't have a requirement to show up at every market. 

"We do want people to maybe make it part of their plan when they are planning their garden now. Maybe you might want to put in an extra row of tomatoes and sell at the market," she said.

The deadline to sign up to be a vendor is March 17.

With files from Alyssa Mosher

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