The COVID-19 crisis left a major impact on us all, and we are extremely grateful to our market community who has continued to shop local and support our regional farmers and crafters. As many of you know, the Durham Farmers Market was forced to completely shut down for 6 weeks in 2020 as we adapted to safety concerns. While the Market returned to operation in May, many of our farmers and vendors were unable or uncomfortable returning.
The Durham Farmers Market is an independent business, separate from both the City of Durham and the Durham Central Park. We have expenses just like any other business, and our main source of income is through stall fees that each vendor pays on a weekly basis when they attend market. No vendors for 6 weeks meant no stall fees for that period. Even upon re-opening the market, stall fees were not meeting the budget needs as many vendors did not return. As a result, the Durham Farmers Market is at financial risk and we are asking for community support to help us balance our books.
We are extremely grateful to have such a supportive community that knows the value of a resilient and diversified local food system. It has been incredible seeing the numbers of people coming out to shop locally! It's important to note that even when the market looks very busy, the Durham Farmers Market as an organization only makes income through stall fees.
With the return of many vendors and an increase in our stall fees, we have a strong outlook going forward. However, we still are facing a large deficit that we must fill in order to have a sustainable future. There are 68 vendors that rely on this market. On average our market hosts 2,412 visitors per week! So, what can you do to ensure the Durham Farmers Market continues to be a place where our area’s finest farmers and crafters can sell their amazing local goods?
1. DONATE! If you’re able, this is the #1 thing you can do to support the DFM and its vendors.
2. SHARE! We’re relying on the network effect to spread the word about our campaign. Tell your friends, share our campaign on social media, post the link on your neighborhood listservs, and help us get the word out.
3. CONNECT! Tell us how the Market has an impact on your life. Is it part of your weekly routine? Did you meet a dear friend or partner? Are there products that you’re only able to find at the Market? We’d love to share your stories as fuel to our fundraising efforts!
PLEASE NOTE! The Durham Farmers Market is NOT a 5013c non-profit and thus donations are NOT tax deductible. If you would like to make a large donation and have it be tax deductible, please contact us directly.
With thanks and looking forward! The Durham Farmers Market Fundraising Committee.
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- Peter Eastman
Organizer and beneficiary
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