ATLANTA, Ga. -- Every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tech Walkway transforms into an authentic farmers market, lined with vendors and filled with students in search of fresh goods and produce.
Nearly all students who have attended Georgia Institute of Technology are familiar with the weekly market, but may not know as much about its origins and vendors.
In the fall of 2012, the Georgia Tech Farmers Market began as a way to connect students, faculty and staff with local offerings from the community. Dining Services and the Student Center joined together with about 10 vendors to sell a few fresh and local treats. Since then, the market has grown by about one or two vendors a year and now features a group of 19.
The market was designed to allow students, faculty, and staff to stock up on sustainable and healthy food while providing them with a chance to interact with local farmers and support Georgia’s economy. The market helps incorporate the Tech community into the local food system.
Vendors are selected through a structured process to ensure that the best products are featured in the market. They either come recommended to Dining Services or contact the department independently. Then, Dining Services staff meet with potential vendors to learn about their business and sample their products.
After being vetted, the vendor may be invited to join the market. The decision is based on several factors including the quality of the product and how it could be received by the campus community.
"The market offers students the convenience of not having to leave campus to purchase fresh and local goods and has many products not found in an average grocery store," said Trina Samuels, marketing coordinator for Dining Services.
When students purchase local products, it’s also a way to support Georgia Tech Dining Services’ sustainability initiative.
The market also offers healthy items or alternatives for students minding a specific diet, including gluten-free products, fresh produce and an assortment of desserts that are paleo-friendly.
SOURCE: Georgia Institute of Technology