Facebook to Improve Farmers Market, Facilitating Face-to-Face Interactions

The social media giant known for facilitating digital interactions is also planning on improving its face-to-face interactions.

Those living near its Silicon Valley headquarters can expect Facebook's weekly farmers market to return in 2017.

"We understand we're a network," Alexandria Gahagan, Global Events, Amenities and Community Engagement manager for Facebook said. "We are a social network, but what we didn't realize was that we could actually fulfill our mission of bringing people closer together by having this farmers market and having the community come out and be able to engage face to face with each other." 

In its second year, attendance reached approximately 50,000 community members, according to Facebook Communications Manager Jamil Walker.

The 25 markets raised about $45,000 for local nonprofits such as East Palo Alto's Ecumenical Hunger Program.

Program Supervisor LaKesha Roberts-Evans said the group raised about $2,000 this year by selling Facebook merchandise at the market, helping provide 400 to 500 kids with backpacks and supplies.

"Facebook's been a great help to us," Roberts-Evans said. "In addition to their farmers market, they do help us throughout the year."

The tech company has been partnering with community organizations and farms to bring them to the market as well. 

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While the new market doesn't have the same level of traffic as other Bay Area markets yet, according to a seller with JSM Organic Markets, he says it's a great place for kids and enjoys trading products with his fellow vendors.  

This isn't the only news Facebook has rolled out this week.

People may soon be able to grab a cocktail at a Facebook bar. 

The Menlo Park City Council approved development plans for both a bar and hotel on Monday, noting its benefits for the community. 

“The hotel creates a huge windfall for the city,” Mayor Richard Cline told NBC Bay Area in earlier reporting. “We don’t have that many hotels in the city. And Facebook has given us a baseline guarantee of $1.25 million a year in hotel taxes.”

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