CELERY-BRATE! FOOD LITERACY CENTER RETURNS TO MFM
This Saturday Food Literacy Center is rejoining us at the Midtown Farmer’s Market! While they’ve been away from the market this past year the organization has been busy growing like the vegetables they teach kids about. We sat down to talk with them about what Food Literacy Center has been up to and what we can expect from them at the market this year.
1. First things first- What is the Food Literacy Center and why is it important?
Food Literacy Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) established in 2011 in Sacramento, California, with the mission of inspiring kids to eat their vegetables. We teach low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve health, environment & economy.
2. What has Food Literacy Center been up to since you were last at the market in 2015?
In 2015, we expanded from teaching in 5 schools to 8 schools throughout the Sacramento City Unified School District. Through our partnerships with the school district, the Sacramento Public Library and other local nonprofits, we were able to bring food literacy education to over 20,000 kids last year. Additionally, we launched our first summer school program with support from Sun & Soil Juice Company and Insight Coffee Roasters at Leataata Floyd Elementary School.
3. What exciting plans does Food Literacy Center have going on in house for 2016?
In January, the Sacramento City Unified School District board voted unanimously to build us a Broccoli Headquarters. This new facility will be built and funded through an innovative partnership between the City of Sacramento, the school district and a local real estate developer, The Mill at Broadway. The facility will include a teaching kitchen, where we’ll provide kids cooking classes, and a student-run urban farm. With our new Broccoli Headquarters, we will double the number of schools we reach in the first year. The facility should be up and running by early 2018. You can learn more about it on our website.
4. What can kids and parents look forward to at the market this year?
Bring your kids out to the farmers market and increase your family’s food literacy through a self-guided tour of seasonal fruit and vegetables! Learn fun facts about what’s in season, and taste the local bounty provided by our farmers. At Food Literacy Center, we encourage families to taste one new fruit or vegetable a week. Make it fun and ask your kids to select the “Produce of the Week.” Make it your goal to taste and learn a new recipe with that new produce. Over time, you’ll find yourself incorporating many new favorites into your diet. The farmers market is the best place to start, because it’s such a colorful, hands-on environment for kids!
5. What is your #1 suggestion to help parents get their kids excited about eating their veggies?
Cook with your kids! Kids are more likely to eat a meal that they have helped make. Have your kid measure, grate, select and stir vegetables that are a part of a dish. Have them read the recipe with you, explain what each step means and explain measurements. If your kid doesn’t care for the dish or the vegetable, remember that it may take up to 10-15 exposures to a new fruit or vegetable before kids can determine if they like it or not. Don’t give up! And never assume your child doesn’t like something if they turn it down once. Try and try again.
Catch Food Literacy Center this Saturday and every 3rd Saturdays at the Midtown Farmer’s Market this summer. Join us at the Midtown Farmers Market every Saturday starting from 8am – 1pm on 20th Street between J Street & L Street. The Midtown Farmer’s Market is hosted by the Midtown Business Association and professionally managed by Unseen Heroes. For more information visit Midtown Farmer’s Market.