Everything is free at Grand Rapids’ newest community market
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A new market in Grand Rapids will not have the familiar price tags attached.
On Thursday, April 15th, from 5pm to 7pm, guests can visit a Really Really Free Market at Fulton Street Farmers in Grand Rapids, selling a range of items from non-perishable groceries to clothing and records Can take furniture with you. All articles are provided free of charge by community members or organizations.
Organizer MC Camp said the community-building event feels too good to be loyal to many but represents local generosity. They encouraged people to give up the idea of viewing the event as a “charity” and focus more on neighbors who support neighbors.
“It’s hard to believe that anything can be free,” said Camp. “Just remember, if you want to get an egg from a neighbor, they won’t say you will return the egg to me. It is a present. So imagine this market like giving gifts to each other. “
The market isn’t the first of its kind, even in Grand Rapids. Camp said they heard of some attempts to keep a free market on-site, but after connecting with an organizer from Tik Tok, they took an approach that would make this iteration stronger than its predecessors. This includes use of the Fulton Street Farmers Market, an outdoor market with built-in cabins and toilets.
The providers of the market are community members who bring their own goods to “sell”. The goods must be in good condition or have minor imperfections, such as a record player that just needs a new belt or needle, Camp said.
So far, the response to the Really Really Free Market has been positive from both community organizations and members.
“People are really super excited because they say, ‘Oh my god, free stuff,” said Camp. “There are people who love a free market atmosphere and want to see what people bring and offer So this excited interest in the novelty. “
While the market could have been hosted at any time, Camp said after the pandemic was isolated, people need to feel more connected to their communities than ever.
April 15 is a trial run for the Really Really Free Market at Fulton Street Farmers Market, and Camp hopes the event will become a mainstay. They said the reliability of the service becomes important in informing the community that the resource is there.
Most importantly, Camp said many community members are still struggling due to the impact of the pandemic and other issues. The market offers both support for those in need and an opportunity to connect with their communities in new ways.
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