Future plans for Saturday Market

Published 6:15 pm Thursday, July 17, 2014

A grant from the Vidant Foundation of Beaufort County will help Saturday Market initiate new marketing strategies for the rest of the season.

The grant allowed Washington Harbor Alliance District Director Beth Byrd to hire a market manager. Mark Batton assumes the role as market manager for the next 32 weeks.

According to Byrd, Batton’s plans for Saturday Market include a healthy eating seminar, healthy cooking and health assessments.

“It’s an opportunity to promote health in Beaufort County and to give back to the community,” Batton said.

In recent years, a quarter of the deaths in Beaufort County were related to heart disease and diabetes, according to Batton.

Batton said he will not only employ healthy ideas for the kitchen, but also a game to be played at Saturday Market, called “Market Booty.”

“It will be more like a scavenger hunt and geocaching,” Byrd said. “There will be a clue given and it will be somewhere downtown.”

“I’ve been trying to think of some out-of-the-box ideas to get people to the market,” Batton said. “I’m going to tie in downtown to promote the waterfront area with the history and culture, along with the dining.”

Byrd said when the clue is found the winner receives $20 or $25 of “Market Booty” to spend at the market.

“It will be a really fun thing for the kids to play and you get all kinds of good stuff out of it,” Byrd said.

Also on Byrd’s docket is applying for a grant with the USDA, to give individuals the ability to use SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) EBT cards at the market.

“This would allow low-income people to come buy fresh local foods at the market,” Byrd said. “We should know within a month.”

Saturday Market is scheduled to run until the second Saturday in October.

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