As they visit the city's Farmers Markets this summer, thousands of Chicagoans will be carrying their locally-grown produce in reusable shopping bags designed by one talented CPS student.
At today's market kickoff on Daley Plaza, Jose Melgoza was named the winner of the 2013 COUNTRY Financial Reusable Bag Contest. A junior at Lane Technical High School, Jose competed against 150 other CPS high school students and is the first student from his school to win the contest since its inception in 2008. His bag design features the words "Chicago Farmers Markets" sprouting out of rich soil in front of the city skyline.
"The phrase serves as the focal point to symbolize spring and growth in Chicago," said Jose.
In addition to having his artwork on thousands of reusable bags, Jose will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. Two runners-up - sophomore Juana Delao of Lane Tech and senior Mara Hontanosas of Mather High School – will also receive scholarships.
The reusable bag contest is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial and the Chicago Farmers Markets, and is designed to supplement efforts to reduce waste and promote recycling at each of the city's market locations. The theme for this year's contest was "Sprouts in the City".
"This year's theme sprouted great artistic creativity from our young designers," said Mike Fisher, Vice-President of Market Development for COUNTRY Financial. "We were very impressed with the submissions and the talent of Chicago's public school students."
The reusable canvas bags featuring Jose Melgoza's winning design will be available at various market locations throughout the summer.