Indoor Winter Farmers' Markets Begin

 Indoor winter farmers’ market logo

By Liam Fraser

Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest is co-hosting one of Faith in Place’s itinerant indoor Winter Farmers Markets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, November 10. The market is free and open to the public. These markets move from one location to another each weekend to provide more communities with access to local foods and give vendors the chance to meet new customers.

At a time of year when most summer farmers markets have closed for the season, this market will offer attendees the opportunity to purchase items such as meat, eggs, honey, salsa, jam, bread, pastries, seasonally-available produce, and more.

Farmers and vendors at the market will sell seasonal foods grown or produced within 250 miles of Chicago. By purchasing locally-grown food, consumers reduce the carbon footprint of their food, and support local farmers who use sustainable growing methods during the slower “off-season.”

Illinois Link cards/SNAP benefits are accepted at the market and all Link/SNAP customers can double their purchases of fruits and vegetables up to $25 through the Link Match Program. For example, a customer who spends $25 on their Link card will be able to take home a total of $50 worth of food. This matching is made possible by a grant from Link Up Illinois, a program of Experimental Station, a local organization that promotes community development initiatives.

Grace Lutheran Church and School is located at 7300 Division St., River Forest, right next to Concordia University. The congregation is known in the region for its strong musical tradition, including the Bach Cantata Series, now in its 48th year. Attendees of the Winter Farmers Market are encouraged to park in the Concordia University garage or on the street.

This market is one of 17 indoor markets planned throughout Chicagoland from November through early April, organized by the environmental non-profit organization, Faith in Place. The organization’s mission is to empower Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the Earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities.

Faith in Place coordinates with various houses of worship to host this series of markets because their large indoor, heated spaces are perfect gathering places for farmers and community members. The organization has arranged this series of indoor markets since 2008 as one of their many programs to help people of faith take action for healthier communities and a healthier planet.

Faith in Place and Grace are thrilled to further their partnership through the Winter Farmers Market program!