• Vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the ‘Love Your Farmers Market’ contest

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Sitka Farmers Market Calls On Community To Vote For It In The ‘Love Your Farmers Market’ Contest In An Effort To Win $5,000 From Care2.com

Prizes to help farmers markets across the country promote fresh, local foods and small family farms

SITKA, Alaska, Aug. 9, 2009 — Sitka residents have a fun new way to show the Sitka Farmers Market some love — and help this farmers market win $5,000 through a fun, online contest.

The “Love Your Farmers Market” contest, sponsored by Care2.com and LocalHarvest.org, will award the voters’ favorite farmers market the grand prize, which will go a long way to help the Sitka Farmers Market support local family farmers and provide Sitka with fresh, healthy, locally grown food. Voting opened on June 19 and closes on Sept. 17. In addition to the $5,000 grand prize for the top farmers market, there are several other prizes including weekly $250 prizes for a random market and some prizes for voters (tote bags, $50 prizes for top recruiters to spend at their market, etc.).

Such a contest couldn’t be more timely. With a global recession, food scares and growing concern over industrial farming practices, Americans are searching for ways to reconnect with local, healthy and safe foods for themselves and their families. “Recession gardens” are popping up around the country. Organic food is now a $20 billion industry and still expanding in spite of the economy. First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground on the new White House organic vegetable garden. More and more, Americans are visiting their local farmers markets to feed their families and support their local farmers.

Care2 (www.care2.com), the largest online community of people passionate about making a difference, is teaming up with LocalHarvest (www.localharvest.org), America’s most popular website for finding food grown close to home, to bring public awareness to the need to support family farms, fresh healthy food, and the farmers markets that connect these farms and food to our communities.

In addition to the grand prize, Care2 is awarding $3,000, $2,000 and two prizes of $1,000 to the four runner-ups respectively. Local residents and market supporters will determine the winners of this contest, and can vote for the Sitka Farmers Market by going to this link.

“This is the best time to support America’s farmers markets,” said Randy Paynter, president and founder of Care2.com. “More and more Americans are taking an interest in local foods, sustainable farming and healthy eating. Care2 is proud to reward the farmers markets that our members love, and to grow the local food movement, one vote at a time.”

“People across the country are rediscovering the benefits of local food,” said Erin Barnett, Director of LocalHarvest.org. “Not only is the food at your farmers market fresher, tastier, and better for the environment, it’s also good for your local economy. By supporting farmers markets, we support family farmers and help them stay in business.”

“Five thousand dollars would make a huge impact on the kinds of support we can offer to farmers and outreach we can do to the community,” said Kerry MacLane, president of the Sitka Local Foods Network, which sponsors the Sitka Farmers Market. “We encourage all of our neighbors and customers to visit the contest web site and vote for us.”

Click here to vote or click on the contest logo above.

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