2019 is special not only because we are celebrating 20 years of Faith in Place, but also because we’re marking our tenth anniversary of the indoor Winter Farmers Market Program! Learn about where we started and how we’re growing:
Our tenth annual season, which occurs on select Saturdays and Sundays, starts in November 2019 and runs through April 2020. We are collaborating with 16 wonderful Houses of Worship in the Chicagoland area. View the schedule here.
Social Justice Focus
Social Justice is at the heart of our work. Back in 2009, we partnered with Churches’ Center for Land and People to promote economic justice for small farmers and producers. Robin Shirmer was instrumental in helping us fully acquire that project between 2009 and 2010.
Our initial focus was to provide vendors opportunities to connect with consumers so they can remain profitable through the lean winter months. Soon the program started emphasizing food justice for communities with food insecurities – a great mission-alignment opportunity for Houses of Worship to offer their warm halls as venues large enough for the markets.
Over time, we’ve been able to make the markets more accessible to people of all income levels. We accept Illinois Link cards/SNAP Benefits. Plus, we have offered Link Match since 2017! All Link/SNAP customers can double their Link purchases up to $25 to buy fruits and vegetables!
For example, a customer who spends $25 in Link/SNAP Benefits on any food item will be credited with an additional $25 worth of coupons to purchase produce. This doubling is made possible by generous funding from LINK Up Illinois, a program of Experimental Station, which provides grants to farmers markets to support Link Match Coupons and increase healthy food access in Illinois.
Meet Our Vendors & Hosts
Our local vendors pride themselves on serving seasonally appropriate local goods, such as fresh produce, meat, cheese, baked goods, honey, and a variety of canned goods, natural beauty products, to their customers. Many of them also use sustainable and socially just methods to provide these goods to the public. We are proud that our farmers’ markets provide the opportunity for communities to meet the people who grow and produce their food past the sun-shiny spring and summer market seasons.
Step out of the cold and catch a glance of sunshine in our vendors' smiles this winter market season. Get to know our wonderful team of vendors. Check back soon for bios on this year's group!
We are also excited to introduce two new Houses of Worship in Cook and Lake Counties to our roster of Host Sites. If you’re in the Lake County area, be sure to support St. Paul’s Lutheran Church located in Waukegan, Illinois on Saturday, November 16th from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. If you’re in the Chicago area, stop by and welcome Anshe Emet Synagogue on Sunday, February 9th 2020 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Special Opportunities to Connect with Us
With the holidays approaching, our early markets are a wonderful chance to stock up on products for an amazing holiday dinner as well as gift basket essentials for your loved ones.
Since last season’s cooking demos were such a hit at select markets, we’re bringing them to all our markets this season! The chef will pick items from our vendors by a local chef and will have recipe cards to take home.
Don’t just trust our word on it, come experience all the excitement for yourself!