The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Advocacy at Leg Up Farmers Market in York, PA

Posted on February 20, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor


by Julia Mathew

This was the first booth I had ever done with the VRG and it certainly will not be the last! I, along with three other volunteers, represented The Vegetarian Resource Group on the weekend of February 4th in York, Pennsylvania. We set up our booth in a relatively new natural foods store called Leg Up Farmers Market, which opened in March of 2016. The shop started out as the owner’s way of offering more health-conscious foods to the local community, after having struggled to find them for their child with special needs. Some of the proceeds even go to Leg Up Farm and Able-services to help kids with special needs.

We set up our booth around 9:45am and ended at 2pm. There was a special class at the store on plant-based diets and many promotional vendors were giving out samples, both vegan and non-vegan, throughout the store. We were very surprised at the response to our booth and advocacy, especially in such a rural area. Many people who stopped by the booth told us that they had previously been vegetarian or vegan and had felt great doing it, but had fell out of the swing of it. However, they were definitely interested in trying it again and we had great conversations about how they could sustainably and effectively switch back to it. Others had stopped by our booth because they themselves were vegetarian or vegan, which was great to hear. They were very excited over all of the vegetarian and vegan options offered in the store and were hopeful that others in the area might shift towards a more plant based diet as well. Another man swung by because he had a vegan friend who couldn’t make it and had wanted him to try a vegan diet. He signed up for our membership, thanked us, and took a copy of our Meatless Meals for Working People. It was so nice to talk to him and see his interested in going vegan for his health and the animals. Many dietitians stopped by our booth and remarked that they used our informational materials with their clients, which was so great to hear! “My Vegan Plate” was definitely a popular handout amongst the dietitians. I spoke with a pregnant vegan woman who was looking for additional resources, so we referred her to The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, which is available on the VRG website. We also gave her a packet about planning vegan diets for children and infants. Shortly after, I spoke to a mother whose daughter is vegan and wanted additional nutritional information and resources. I spoke from my own experience about consuming enough calories and carbs such as brown rice, and gave her some resources, including our pamphlet called “Vegan Nutrition For Teenagers.”

Overall, I think our advocacy was very successful and people were very receptive to us. I think we inspired many people to rethink their dietary and lifestyle choices and perhaps even converted a few. It is truly so exciting to see people showing more interest in vegetarianism and veganism in more rural areas!

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