The Carbondale Community Farmers Market will not host an outdoor market in 2017.
The market, which was organized by Food Works, was held in downtown Carbondale on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. during the past two years.
Despite generous support from community groups, customer traffic never reached a robust level to support a sustainable level of vendors, according to a statement from Food Works' Farmers Market Program Manager Reanna Putnam.
2016 was a particularly challenging season, the statement says. The market faced forecasts of rain 23 out of 26 markets and two markets where storms rocked tents while water filled the street. Throughout the season, shopper traffic trickled, and before the season’s end, vendors left.
Vendors who participated in the market will still be selling at other markets in the region, including the Carbondale Farmers Market and Herrin Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, the Cannon Park Community Farmers Market in Carterville on Wednesdays, and the Cobden Farmers Market on Sundays.
“We have found that Carbondale is unable to support two weekly markets at this time,” Putnam said.
The Winter Farmers Market will continue to be hosted by the Community Farmers Market starting the first Saturday in December at Carbondale Community High School. Additionally, staff at Food Works are working with regional farmers markets to develop SNAP programs and to expand SNAP incentive programs pioneered at the Community Farmers Market.