February 2012 Event
Cash Mobs have been sprouting up throughout the United States recently and are modeled after Flash Mobs, events where large groups of people gather to celebrate artistic expression. Cash Mobs add the element of supporting local businesses by encouraging people to show up, as a group, with $20 used toward supporting the local business of your choice.
In February 2012, FOG partnered with the Alachua County EBT Project, Alachua County Sustainability Office, Blue Oven Kitchens, Buy Local North Central Florida and Little Bean Productions to host a Cash Mob at Gainesville’s 441 Farmers Market. This Cash Mob aimed to support the local food economy by increasing the viability of farm enterprises.
The Alachua County Farmers Market partnered with the Alachua County EBT Program to provide $500.00 worth of ten dollar coupons toward SNAP benefits, making the event one that reached out beyond economic fences to include all local residents. The event was a wonderful success: approximately $10,000.00 in additional funds were spent at the market. This was a major boon to our local food economy.
The farmers were ecstatic about the results: Glades Ridge Dairy farmer Joe Pietrangelo said, “This was the best publicized, most successful market day we have had in years.”
Cross Creek Honey farmer Nancy Gentry said: “We made over 680.00 extra dollars from the same time last year.” Clearly, the Alachua County EBT Project is needed by Alachua County residents and the community they live in. A healthy citizenry means a productive citizenry. With the support of community leaders, private funding and federal and local grants, FOG is happy to support these programs in Alachua County.
The spirit of a Cash Mob is encompassed with the motto, “We each do a little. We all do a lot.” By joining forces in our community, we are able to have a greater impact than our singular actions could.
For more information about Cash Mobs, including tips on how to host your own, please check out the Cash Mobs blog.
Director Shelley Rogers of Little Bean Productions made a short documentary film about the 2012 Cash Mob event. The film, originally screened at the Cinema Verde Environmental Film and Arts Festival won the 2012 Kathy Cantwell Best Local Issue award!