Kids can earn, spend Crop Coins at Whitestown Farmers Market


By Chris Bavender

A partnership between the Whitestown Parks Dept. and Centier Bank will give kids a chance to earn money to spend at the Whitestown Farmers Market. The goal of the Crop Coins program is to give youth a new reason to look forward to the market.

“I had attended a Farmers Market Forum where other market managers had talked about a kids program they had that was similar,” said Sarah Burns, Whitestown Parks Dept. events coordinator. “I took that idea and morphed it a bit to turn it into something that worked in our community.”

The Crop Coins program lets kids earn money to spend at the Farmers Market. They pick up a “task card” at the Farmers Market or at the Whitestown or Zionsville branch of Centier Bank beginning May 5 and then visit area businesses to pick up items. Once they’ve completed the tasks, they bring the completed cards to the market to redeem their Crop Coins to spend at participating vendor booths.

Centier Bank donated $500 to get the Crop Coins program started.

“We loved how the program related to our family-owned bank,” said Brad Duncan, branch manager/AVP at Centier Bank. “For Centier we loved that this program not only teaches kids about saving but also encourages them to participate in their community.”

Burns said the program will appeal to kids because it will be a “fun” way for them to participate in the market.

“This gives them the experience of shopping at the market, the satisfaction of earning money and using that money to buy something,” she said.

Youth younger than 18 can participate in Crop Coins. For the inaugural year, kids can earn $5 to spend at the market.

“Hopefully next year, once we can prove the success of it, we’ll be able to raise the amount the kids can earn,” Burns said.

“I am hoping this is something we do in coordination with the parks department for years to come,” Duncan said. “Whitestown is an excellent place to work and live so we hope we can always collaborate in ways to give back.”

The Whitestown Farmers Market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays May 5 to Sept. 1.