Managers, Directors and Center
Senior Center Best Practices
Money Making Ideas
Senior Center/Nutrition Program/Organization Name
Plum Senior Community Center
499 Center-New Texas Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15239
The Green Plum Farmer's Market
The new Green Plum is an outdoor Farmer's Market located at the Plum Senior
Community Center. The Green Plum will be open every Thursday from 3-7 p.m. (The
day and time were selected from surveys of potential customers.) It began on
June 25 and runs through October 14, under tents on the lawn, making the event
possible rain or shine. The market features a variety of locally grown produce -
including organics - supplied by a farmer's cooperative of nearly 30 local
producers. Other specialty products and crafts vary from week to week, adding to
the interest in return visits!
Time and Manpower
With oversight from the PSCC executive director, PSCC volunteers, and a paid
part-time coordinator are responsible for the overall management of the market.
Plum Borough Municipal staff give in-kind set up of tents and the staff and
volunteers handle the set up of tables.
Apart from the market hours four (4), the average hours spent on
this project are approximately six (6) hours a week.
Roadside signs on site and at two key intersections, weekly newspaper
articles and/or calendar listings, PSCC's website, eblasts, PSCC newsletter
mailed to 5,000 homes, blog submissions for local paper websites, flyers at the
adjacent Plum Creek Acres senior residence, and Plum Community Library, Plum
Chamber of Commerce flyers and newsletter, internal promotion among PSCC
Particularly for seniors who may not have ready access to farmer's markets
and nutritious fresh produce but the Green Plum is open to the whole community.
This not only offers the community a healthful option but also increases revenue
to sustain the market for seniors. Our market is centrally located in the
Borough and is located on a heavily traveled road which draws new customers.
This is attractive to potential vendors to serve more than the senior
Plum Borough Municipality, Plum Community Library, PSCC volunteers/advisory
council/board of directors. We plan to incorporate our future Gourmet Weight
Wise program through C.C.A.C. and the Allegheny County Library Association's
Wise Walk Program this September to mutually promote healthy eating.
The market operation is funded this first year through a $3,350 grant from
the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Impact On Center
PSCC has seen an increase in the number of new seniors coming to the market
beyond the normal number of consumers. Several new consumers have registered as
result. Each week, despite several weeks of extreme heat, the number of vendors
and shoppers has grown. The community residents who shop now have a greater
awareness of the work of the PSCC.
We were able to secure a grant for the market's business plan and the
initial year's operation. Must have contingency plans! We planned for indoor
space in case of extreme inclement weather. We used a local farm alliance to
supply some produce to offer a broader selection and volume. (A few local
farmers were unable to commit the time to the market due to the pressing needs
of managing their own businesses.)
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