Greetings from my first (and definitely not last) Food Trust Night Market!
What is Night Market? In 2010, The Food Trust created Night Market Philadelphia to bring communities together and celebrate the joy of food. Modeled after similar markets in Asia, it was planned to be a lively gathering with delicious food, locally crafted beverages, outdoor seating and live music.
So, your PULSE assignment has you attending block parties? What’s that about? Well, yes and no. First of all, Night Market is way, way more than a “block party.” It’s a unique opportunity for local food entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and build a lasting customer base. It’s also part of The Food Trust’s larger effort to create a local healthy food economy in the Philadelphia region. The Night Market goals are to:
- Attract visitors from all over the city and surrounding areas
- Provide residents with a unique venue to enjoy freshly prepared foods
- Support local food entrepreneurs
- Showcase the quality and diversity of ethnic foods in Philadelphia
So yes, technically, I get to attend Night Markets! And by attending, I mean doing whatever needs to be done to help make the night a success. These events are highly dependent on volunteers: They set up tables, chairs and trash cans; direct food trucks to their assigned locations; pass out programs to attendees; and even count the number of people who come and go. In return for their time, each volunteer gets two free food vouchers from select vendors participating in Night Market. (You should volunteer, too! See below for details on how you can get involved.) I counted visitors, and quite frankly, it’s one of the things that has really impressed me from the start here at The Food Trust. We count and measure everything! It’s important to show our successes and impact in general but especially so when seeking new funding and grants. Speaking of counting, I definitely got in my 10,000 steps that night! Good thing too, because I managed to do quite a bit of cuisine sampling that night ….
I was also lucky to have some of my fellow GSK colleagues, Jon Eversham and Steve Pessagno, Food Trust GSK PULSE alum, MaryKate Harkins, and GSK alum, Cheryl P., come visit Night Market and “help” me with some counting.
How can YOU get involved? And you should – it’s really fun!
- Just show up! Come to our upcoming Night Markets before the season ends:
- Night Market Kensington: Thursday, August 9 from 6-10 p.m. (Frankford Ave. & York St.)
- Night Market Point Breeze: Thursday, October 4 from 6-10 p.m. (20th & Federal)
- Make it a GSK Orange Day! Helping with setup and everything else makes for a great Orange Day for you GSK folks! If anyone at GSK is interested in helping at the next Night Markets, please email me at LCortese@thefoodtrust.org.
- Volunteer yourself! You can also volunteer individually. I can assure you that we here at The Food Trust are very welcoming, and it’s likely you’ll not only leave with a new appreciation for Philly food but also a bunch of new friends: http://thefoodtrust.org/contact/volunteer
Look forward to seeing you there!