JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Public Market is preparing for an exciting 2020 thanks to a new partnership with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Jamestown.
Operated under the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation for the past decade, market stakeholders realized following a successful 2019 season, that the market had outgrown JRC’s current capacity and mission, and sought a new home for the prospective future.
Reverend Luke Fodor approached Market Director Linnea Carlson and the JRC with an offer to assist with market operations.
“This is an exciting transition for both the Public and Mobile markets” says Carlson. “The Jamestown Renaissance has been a phenomenal home for the market these past ten years, however it has been exciting to see that the market continues to grow and solidify its place in our community. St Luke’s will be a fantastic home for the markets, and provide it the resources needed to continue to expand.”
St. Luke’s will take over as what Carlson likes to call the ‘fiduciary sponsor’; organizing administrative requirements for the markets, coordinating the markets’ EBT transactions, and providing office space for market staff. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has pledged to be a title sponsor for the market in 2020.
“The community has shown incredible support for the markets these past several years, and the market has thrived because of it. Our sales have increased by upwards of 70% over 2017, our SNAP numbers keep rising, and we have reached over 250 children with our SPROUTs program.” Carlson adds.
Both the Public and Mobile markets require significant community support, be that in-kind donations, volunteer support or financial donations.
In late 2019, St. Luke’s 4th Street Thrift Shop volunteers presented the market with a $10,000 donation to assist with 2020 operating expenses. The churches’ Bishop Overs Guild also provided a donation to the market from funds raised throughout the year.
“The market would not exist without community support. We have been overjoyed to see, just in the past few weeks, the support from community church groups, local organizations, and individual community members. We are excited to utilize the support to create vibrant, community minded markets for 2020” says Carlson, noting that the Public market is seeking a more centric location for its Saturday event, while the Mobile Market will expand its current offerings.
A vehicle was donated by a St. Luke’s parishioner, which will be primarily utilized for transport of produce during Mobile Market days. Market staff hope to expand community programming as well, utilizing St. Luke’s current kitchen space, community partnerships, and the knowledge of market vendors and volunteers.
For more information community members are encouraged to visit the Jamestown Public Market on Facebook or contact market staff directly at jamestownmarket @ stlukesjamestown.org.