Business Forms Project Produce

Solstice Designs, a local jewelry business, established a new grass roots giving program called Project Produce. Every Friday through October 29, Project volunteers were in the Dearborn Farmers and Artisan Market from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. with the signature “Big Pink Cart,” where consumers and vendors were encouraged to donate produce and food items. The bounty was delivered after the market closed every Friday to First Step of Michigan, a domestic violence shelter. First Step provides the food to women and children in the protective care of the shelter, as well as families in transitional housing. The food is lending a helping hand to families while they get back up on their feet.

Solstice Designs business partners Sherry Duquet and Sandra Boulton co-founded Project Produce this year with the help of the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce and the Dearborn Farmers and Artisan Market. Duquet shared, “Project Produce is one way that we can continue to extend our annual grass roots giving program, Project Mother’s Day, which provides jewelry for children in domestic violence shelters to give as gifts to their Moms on Mother’s Day.”

Duquet added, “We wanted to continue helping year round and this seemed like a perfect fit. The jewelry feeds souls, and the produce feeds tummies.”

Project Produce gained considerable momentum in the Dearborn Farmers and Artisan Market. Shoppers and vendors in the market supported the Project with fresh produce and artisan food items. Some consumers brought produce from their own gardens or purchased it in the market to donate. Project volunteers collected and delivered more than 50 pounds of food to First Step every Friday. Boulton said, “It is heartwarming to watch young children choose produce with their parents each week to donate to the Big Pink Cart. It is really catching on.”

The fresh produce giving idea is reaching other communities too. On August 26, the Wyandotte Farmer’s Market introduced the Big Pink Cart to their local market and launched an extension of Project Produce. Located on the corner of Elm and First Street, the Wyandotte Market was open every Thursday through September 16. Market coordinator Natalie Rankine, special projects coordinator for the City of Wyandotte, learned about Project Produce while visiting the Dearborn Farmers and Artisan Market, and recognized that it was a great fit for their community. The Wyandotte extension of Project Produce supports Waynewright Community Meals each week.