Farmers With Heart

Sundays behind the Saugatuck Congregational Church:  It’s not your father’s farmers market.

Quietly, quickly and convincingly, the  Sunday Farmers Market has moved far beyond raspberries, rhubarb and goat milk soap.  It’s become a community event — with ripples way beyond our own community.

Every Sunday, organizers distribute paper bags to shoppers.  They’re invited to bring them back next week — filled with food, toiletries and household items.  (Shoppers can also fill the bags right there with produce and other items.)  The bags are then distributed directly to area soup kitchens.

At the end of each Sunday market, all unsold food is given to local food pantries.

But the farmers market folks do far more than hand out food.  They invite community organizations to join them in the Saugatuck Church parking lot.  Today was Metro Kidz, an after-school anti-drug program that teaches life skills to Bridgeport children.  Metro Kidz is affiliated with the Bishop Jean Williams Food Pantry, recipient of this week’s farmers market donations.

Metro Kidz sang gospel songs, providing an unusual — but quite welcome — soundtrack for a farmers market.

Westport non-profits are well represented too.  The Community Garden had a table today, and Bill Meyer was hustling sign-ups for the Westport Sunrise Rotary’s upcoming Great Duck Race.

Of course, mixed in with all the food donations and good-works stuff was this quintessential Westport farmers market scene:

Chef Tor Sporré handed out “Lobster Cooking and Wine Tasting Seminar” flyers.  They included lobster menus — for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Bridgeport's Metro Kidz sing at today's Farmers Market.

Bridgeport's Metro Kidz sing at today's Farmers Market.

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