The Oxford Community Market will begin it’s first full season a free-standing nonprofit farmer’s market on Tuesday when the market opens for the season that will run until December.
The market, commonly known as OXCM, will be held from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at the community pavilion on the corner of Bramlett Boulevard and University Avenue and will feature about 23 vendors selling their first crops of growing season and handmade products, like jelly, fresh eggs, meat and more.
The grand opening market will also feature activities for children and cooking demonstrations.
From 4 to 6 p.m., the Friends of the Community Market will be treated to a Happy Hour appreciation celebration and community members will be invited to join the Friends of the Market for a yearly $30 donation.
Current and new “friends” will be treated to refreshments provided by Artist Vodka cocktails. Food will be provided by Neon Pig, Canoodle, Lenora’s and The Cakery.
“All Friends of the Market will receive a free cake from The Cakery,” said Market Director Betsy Chapman.
Musician Shannon McNally will perform at the Happy Hour and Oxonian Ron Shapiro will emcee the event.
Chapman said becoming a Friend of the Market helps OXCM continue its weekly fresh produce deliveries to the Oxford Pantry, educational programs to teach children about healthy eating and helping families with economic challenges to have improved access to fresh, healthy local food.
The market will continue its participation in the AARP Foundation’s Fre$h Savings Program, where the market offers a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10 to customers who use their SNAP cards — formally known as food stamps — at the market.
“We are working with Baptist (Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi), Rebel Well and Move On Up MS organizations to expand that program this year as well,” Chapman said.
Shoppers can purchase fresh produce and donate it to The Pantry. Some of the donated food from customers and vendors also goes to elderly and disabled residents in Oxford Housing Authority’s CB Webb apartments.
Chapmen said each Tuesday during the market there will be special actives for children and plans are in place to expand cooking demonstrations.
“We want to educate consumers on how to shop on a budget and prepare healthy, affordable meals,” she said.
OXCM received its official nonprofit status earlier this year.
“We rely on community involvement,” she said.
The market started about five years ago as the Oxford City Market and was run by the city of Oxford, with intentions of eventually becoming self-sufficient and its own nonprofit entity that no longer relied on city funding.
“We’ve done that and now operate completely separate from the city,” Chapman said.
For more information, visit Oxford Community Market on Facebook.