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Author: Foster Hayes

Revamped Brunswick farmers market coming this month

Forward Brunswick is looking to revamp the farmers market in Mary Ross Waterfront Park by bringing in “Real Food, Real Farmers.”

That’s the tagline for the program, which will feature curated local producers every second and fourth Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A small fee paid by vendors will cover the cost of a paid market staffer who will help people pay with SNAP and EBT benefits.

“We are working with local places,” said Foster Hayes, Forward Brunswick spokesman. “Each one will be within Brunswick or the surrounding areas — Brantley County, Waycross, along those lines. … Our mission is to bring in local farmers bringing in local food they themselves are growing.”

Everything is managed by Forward Brunswick, which aims to coordinate businesses, government agencies and other groups in the city to perform revitalization projects and promote economic development.

Hayes said the organization will work to make sure the market offers a wide variety of food as well.

“Mainly veggies, but we are working with a meat vendor as well,” he said. “We partner with Schroeder’s Market, so any excess food they’re going to buy back. Anything that’s there will get sold one way or another. Nothing will be wasted.”

The initiative came about because larger companies were overshadowing local farmers, Hayes said. Because of the disorganized nature of the market, he said the program allows for someone to check in and take payment from people using benefits to pay for produce.

“Since we’re taking SNAP and EBT somebody has to check them in and provide them the coins that will be their payment when they’re there,” Hayes said.

Forward Brunswick has three objectives with the new market, Hayes said: increasing the availability of fresh, local food to help eliminate food deserts and hunger; supporting local farmers and food producers; and making downtown Brunswick a Saturday shopping destination for visitors and residents.

“Forward Brunswick is excited to help bring this market to our community,” said executive director Lance Sabbe. “Partnering with the city of Brunswick Downtown Development Authority and the Highway 17 Georgia Grown trail, this project will be a great added amenity to everyone in our area. I look forward to seeing everyone getting to know where their food is coming from in Southeast Georgia.”

Forward Brunswick adds new board member

Forward Brunswick adds new board member

Forward Brunswick announced on Wednesday the addition of Jason Umfress to its board of directors.

Umfress currently serves as the vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at College of Coastal Georgia. A resident of the city’s historic district, Umfress brings with him over 20 years of higher education and leadership experience. He is also president of the Golden Isles Arts & Humanities board of directors and chair of the PorchFest Brunswick committee. In the past, Umfress was a member of the United Way of Coastal Georgia’s board of directors.

In a statement, Forward Brunswick board chairman Ed Farley welcomed Umfress’ unique perspective and commitment to the city.

Forward Brunswick aims to coordinate businesses, government agencies and other groups in the city to perform revitalization projects and promote economic development. For more information, visit www.forwardbrunswick.org.

Forward Brunswick elects new executive officers

Forward Brunswick elects new executive officers

At its annual meeting, nonprofit Forward Brunswick elected new executive board officers.

Ed Farley was named chairman, Al McKinnon vice chair & Terra Winslett treasurer and secretary. All votes were unanimous, according to a press release from the organization. Former Chair Ben Slade will remain on the board.

Forward Brunswick aims to coordinate businesses, government agencies and other groups in the city to perform revitalization projects and promote economic development. Along with the election of new officers, Forward Brunswick refined its 2023 strategic plan focus on four areas: amenities, beautification, development and growth.

The organization started off the year by planting over 50 trees around Brunswick as part of its Liberty Brunswick Project and partnered with the city government and Downtown Development Authority to pressure wash the sidewalks of Norwich Street between Gloucester and H streets.

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