Well, we said we were going to do it, and we are. Earth Day seems like a great time to announce the initial group of sponsors for HCFM.
First, let me explain briefly what these sponsorships mean and do for us. In just the last two years, we have grown from 1 full-time and 2 part-time employees to 4 full-time and (soon) 1-2 part-time employees. The extra staffing has made it possible to grow the Mobile Market stops to nearly 400 last year, and up to 600 this year. It means we can run the Urban Farm. It means we can focus better on things like reaching low-income, low-access people who need fresh fruit and produce, but might not have the means to get to the market regularly. It means we can take the time to help our farmers grow more, and create new farmers. It means we can expand our market season beyond the typical May-November seasons of the past.
Creating more jobs costs money, too. The additional staff and services have more than doubled our budget, and the added revenue from the Mobile Market and Farmers’ Market does not begin to cover the cost. Grants can cover some of the programming expense, but most funders do not like to pay for staff. So we have focused much more on fundraising from individual donors, and now we are looking at corporate sponsorships.
Those groups who have sponsored the market this year have helped us tremendously, accounting for about 7.5% of our budget. It gives us a shot in the arm in covering this 100% budget growth, but it also means we have to continue to close the gap through fundraising, grant-writing, and hopefully more sponsorships.
We ask that if you love the market, please join us in supporting these businesses who have stepped up for us, and get used to hearing:
Hub City Farmers’ Market Presented by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System!
Presenting Sponsor: Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System has stepped up in a big way for us, and has agreed to a 3 year sponsorship and presence at the market. This partnership goes far beyond a simple transaction, and represents a true collaboration that will leverage each of our strengths to help create more interest in and access to healthy food in Spartanburg County. With two organizations focused closely on healthy outcomes, we expect big benefits for our customers!
Additional Market sponsors for 2015:
CFCU has made a huge impact on the Northside, and is a great community partner for many of the NPOs in Spartanburg. Like us, they put great emphasis on serving everyone in the community. They also host the Mobile Market twice a month at their Church Street location.
Spartanburg Marriott: One of the best kept secrets for great food with an emphasis on local, we love their restaurants!
Palmetto Proactive Healthcare
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
More to come! If you want your business to get behind a great organization that reaches thousands weekly, check out the sponsorship page for details.