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Nonprofit a farmers-market bidder

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Charles Brummitt

Charles Brummitt

Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The four bids submitted to the city in response for its request for proposals to operate the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market include one from a group that would form a nonprofit to run the market.

“We believe the market in Greensboro is a community asset and should be run on behalf of the community, as well as the vendors who sell at the market,” says Charles Brummitt, an organizer of the group that submitted the nonprofit proposal.

Other bids were submitted by a group of farmers known as the Farmers Community Collaborative; GAV Properties; and Majestic Mountain Maintenance.

The market, established in 1874, has had several homes, including previous locations where farmers backed up their horse-drawn wagons and, later, their pickup trucks, to the curb.

The current location, which was a World War II armory, is located at 501 Yanceyville St., east of downtown and near N.C. A&T State University.

The Farmers market is open Saturdays year-round from 6 a.m. to noon, and Wednesdays from late spring through late fall from 9 a.m. to noon.

City records show the market, with 162 tables the city rents to vendors, generates roughly $60,000 a year in revenue from rent and special events, says Brummitt, a retired senior vice president for consumer services at Bank of America and former executive director and development officer for the Piedmont Land Conservancy.

His partner in the nonprofit proposal by Greensboro Farmers Market Inc. is David Craft, CEO of Craft Insurance Center.

Brummitt says the new nonprofit would conduct education and outreach activities on the value of local foods and the impact on health of consuming healthy local food.

“We want to involve people in the local foods process and in eating healthy foods,” he says.

The nonprofit also would work to “encourage economic development through encouraging small farmers and small vendors by giving them a place to sell at the market,” he says.

If it wins the bid, expected to be awarded by the Greensboro City Council on March 15, Brummitt’s group will apply to the Internal Revenue Service to become a 501(c)3 charitable organization, he says.

Receiving that tax-exempt status is tough, Brummitt says.

“You have to demonstrate you’re not running the market for the benefit of the vendors but for the benefit of the public,” he says.

His group’s proposal calls for a governing board of nine to 15 people, with the board initially consisting of six members representing the community and three representing vendors.

The winning bidder would begin operating the Farmer’s Market on July 1.

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