©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Crowdfunding campaign launched to support Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace

Friday, April 10, 2015

Nate Pilon

$65,000 goal to secure matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative 

Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ypsilanti-based Growing Hope today announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will support the development of a year-round, indoor-outdoor, permanent farmers market in downtown Ypsilanti’s historic district.

If the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace attains its crowdfunding goal of $65,000 by June 9, MEDC will provide a $65,000 matching grant. For project details and to donate, please visit: https://www.patronicity.com/project/ypsilanti_farmers_marketplace#/

“Farmers markets have proved to bring many social and economic benefits for communities,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “The past success of the Ypsilanti Farmers Markets is proof that this project will have a tremendous impact on the community.”

Growing Hope’s Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market has been serving visitors from May to October since 2006. The popularity of the market has exponentially grown each year. In 2014, the market’s Tuesday crowd amounted to 19,866 visitors, 63 small business vendors, and an economic impact of $1,371,795. By implementing a year-round farmers market, Ypsilanti will benefit from having a community focal point and constant access to healthy foods.

“We are a nonprofit community organization that has deep roots in Ypsilanti,” said Michael Edison, President of Growing Hope’s board of directors. “Everyone is welcome at our markets, and the permanent building is easily accessible. If we can reach our goal we’ll be able to double the number of market days each year for our customers, create more business opportunities for our vendors, and it will be a great community gathering place, rain or shine.”

To create this year-round farmers market, Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace will reclaim an unused 1930s warehouse and an adjacent former bank drive-thru with a parking lot. With the contributions from this campaign, energy efficient interior storm windows and insulation, fire safe doors, emergency exits, lighting, heating and cooling, bathrooms, prep kitchen, and a fire suppression system will all be installed in the underutilized property. In addition to the year-round farmers market, Growing Hope will continue to host the open air Saturday Depot Town Farmers Market from May through October. After completion of the project, downtown Ypsilanti will have a gathering space that encourages not only interaction with one another, but also healthy lifestyles.

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 95,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

Growing Hope's mission is to help people improve their lives and communities through gardening and healthy food access. For twelve years, it has worked to help people – in particular those with the most limited resources – grow and access healthy food.

The organization’s Strategic Plan calls for creating Healthy People, Healthy Places and Healthy Economies by: 

  • increasing the availability of locally grown foods,
  • improving the diet and health of our residents, 
  • creating business opportunities for farmers and small businesses, 
  • nurturing leadership among youth and adults, and 
  • building community gardens in Ypsilanti neighborhoods. 

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