Vermont's Summer Meals program is in full swing!
This week we highlight an innovative partnership in Winooski that is providing kids 18 and under with free meals at the Sunday Winooski Farmers Market, May - October, 10 am - 2 pm at 20 Winooski Falls Way.
Winooski's partnership is unique for two reasons: first, because of all the players involved in creating this wonderfully educational and nutritious program; second, because it's a Summer Meals site on a Sunday! The Winooski Community Partnership is a second-year sponsor, who organizes the Winooski Farmers Market, in order to make the downtown a better place to live, visit, work, shop, do business, dine, and be entertained. The POP (Power of Produce) Club is a group of University of Vermont students, who provide nutrition education and activities to kids on Sunday's during the markets. Summer Meals themselves are prepared through the Winooski School District and the Abbey Group Management Company.
In the past few weeks, the POP Club has engaged kids with produce by providing vegetables cut into unique shapes, paint, and paper. The result: produce Picasso's! Kids love using broccoli heads as paint brushes and celery ends as stamps. While the paint dries, kids can sit and enjoy a meal, or tour the market with their parents, engaging with their local farmers and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Meanwhile, the Abbey Group Management Company's chef, Nathaniel Edwards, not only purchases local food to include in the scratch-made meals that go out to Sunday's kids, he also uses produce from the Winooski School garden! Delectable bites include homemade salsas, chicken curry, and fresh, local fruit.
VT-FEED (Food Education Every Day) has partnered with five total outstanding Summer Meals sites around the state to encourage more local fruit and vegetable purchasing and nutrition education while school is out of session. This partnership is one piece of a larger goal to expand Farm to School into the summer months. Our aim is to keep kids under 18 fed and healthy when school is out of session. Stay tuned as we highlight other programs from around the state.
For more information on the Winooski Farmer's market, come on down to 20 Winooski Falls Way, every Sunday until October 8th from 10 am - 2 pm or visit: http://downtownwinooski.org/winooski-farmers-market/.