Everyone wins with Market Day

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - On the first Monday of each month during the school year, Howard Elementary offers a unique way to go grocery shopping.
About 10 years ago, the school adopted a fundraising program called "Market Day." This annual fundraiser has been a consistent moneymaker at Howard since 1994.
Originally begun 26 years ago by an elderly German woman named Trudy Butler when she started bringing fresh produce to people who didn't have access to it normally, Market Day grew into a business and has become a win-win situation for everyone involved.
The company carries a wide variety of frozen foods that are ordered by quantity almost two weeks ahead. Orders can be placed online or through order forms at the school.
On the first Monday of the month, orders are picked up at the school between 5 and 6 p.m..
In addition to the already discounted prices, specials are planned periodically. There are special profit margins for the school on those special sale days, as well.
This year the specials were on frozen cookie dough in February, pies in November, and pizza in April. Ice cream specials are also popular.
The company guarantees the quality of their products at 100 percent, no questions asked.
Barb Daniels, chairperson for this year's project, said, "Last year we made close to $4,000. It looks like this year's profits will exceed that amount."
The school gets approximately 10 percent of the profits from sale of the food items. "This year we helped buy new musical instruments for the new music teacher," Daniels said.
Last Monday, the number of customers numbered 49. It only took each of them a moment to pick up their food orders, but everyone seemed to have fun chatting afterward, in no hurry to leave.
Daniels said, "This program is open to anyone," and it is particularly convenient for those living in the Howard district.
Staffed by volunteers plus a company representative, foods are unloaded from the delivery truck and inventoried. Then the orders are filled and double checked. Even the teachers at Howard Elementary volunteer to help with the project.
Everyone benefits. The customers get good food, conveniently packaged, at a good price. The school gets playground equipment and sports needs, and the volunteers have a great time getting together.