January 2018 Newsletter

Jan 8, 2018 by

2017 Market wrap-up & preview of delicious things in 2018

Happy new year from LEAP for Local Food!
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A heartfelt thanks from all of us at LEAP: 2017 market season is in the books!

As we launch full-steam into a new year, we want to take a moment to sincerely thank all our loyal customers, our tireless volunteers, our local food evangelists who spread the good word about our markets and programs, our dedicated farmers and vendors, and indeed everyone who makes up our extended market family! Thanks to you all, we had another successful season in 2017 and we look forward to continuing to connect the dots between field and fork in 2018.

Between West End, Grandin Village, and the new-and-improved LEAP Mobile Market, our markets tallied well over $300,000 in combined sales, every cent of which helps support local farmers and producers, preserves farmland, stimulates our local economy, increases access to fresh food, support healthy communities, and promotes sustainability. That represents an increase of nearly 10% over 2016 sales totals. Of that total, over $36,000, or about 12% of all sales, was in the form of Healthy Food Incentives (like SNAP DoubleFresh Food Rx, TAP Head Start, and our new Medicaid incentive), which goes to show that our friends and neighbors who might lack easy access to fresh, quality food nonetheless cherish the opportunity to eat healthy.

In addition to the new Medicaid incentive, in 2017 we also launched the LEAP FarmShare (check back in February to sign up for 2018!), new businesses started working out of the LEAP Kitchen, we christened our beautiful new Mobile Market vehicle, and we took a more active leadership role to provide healthy food incentives state-wide (check out Virginia Fresh Match for more information). In 2018, we will continue to work with partners, farmers, and consumers to build a more resilient local food system. You make this work possible– thank you so much for your continued support!


Winter Markets: Get your fresh food fix year-round!

With the ground fully frozen in our area, it might surprise you to know that there are still plenty of options for fresh, local food here in Roanoke, all winter long!

The West End Farmers Market is in full swing every Tuesday from 3 to 6pm. The past few frigid weeks we’ve taken refuge from the elements inside the LEAP Kitchen/Freedom First community room –  if you’re looking from the parking lot, the door is to the left of the regular location on the patio… just look for our donkey mascot, Wes (see photo below)!

And don’t forget, the next edition of the monthly Grandin Village Winter Marketwill be held on Saturday, January 20th, from 10am until 1pm. We’ll once again be set up indoors at the Grandin CoLab (1327 Grandin Rd. SW) with a wide array of vendors and product offerings.

As always, all LEAP markets accept and double SNAP (EBT, formerly food stamps) benefits and we also double the spending of Medicaid members.

Join the LEAP Market family: Seeking vendor applications!

Do you or someone you know produce an awesome local product (within a 100-mile radius of Roanoke) that’s ready to be shared with the wider world? Submit an application today to join the LEAP market family! We’re currently accepting applications for 2018 vendors at both the West End and Grandin Village Farmers Markets.

If you’d like to sell your produce, cut flowers or plants, baked goods or other prepared foods, animal products, crafts, or anything else produced locally (subject to approval), take a look at our Vendor Information Packet and fill out an application! Applications are due Wednesday, February 14. We can’t wait to learn about your venture and showcase your wonderful products in 2018!


Thanks to everyone who braved the cold to ring in 2018 at the Big Lick Downtown Countdown! In spite of the icy temperatures, spirits were high as people young and old toasted to the new year. Each ticket sale helped support LEAP’s efforts to make local, fresh, food accessible to everyone in 2018 and beyond.


Next Grandin Village Winter Market: January 20!
Come stock up on storage crops, crafts, baked goods, prepared foods, and oh-so-much more on Saturday January 20 from 10am to 1pm!



Fresh Food in the West End
If the mercury has dropped too low, look for us inside, but we’ll be around back of the Freedom First branch at 1210 Patterson Ave SW every Tuesday, 3-6pm, with plenty of delicious local fare – no matter the temperature!



Become a LEAP Community Partner! Support LEAP and snag some great deals at the Community Markets. LEAP Partnerships are open to businesses- let LEAP help promote the great work you do in the community!

Buy a LEAP Market Gift Certificate for a longtime market-goer or to introduce a friend to the market.

Want to volunteer with LEAP?  LEAP runs on community support. Let us know if you have a special skill you’d love to share!

Have a question? Email Maureen at maureen@LEAPforlocalfood.org.


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