By Amy Doeun
Around the country there is a focus on healthy foods, especially foods for children.
This focus has brought a number of campaigns to help kids choose healthy foods. This year, the Chisago City Farmers Market is joining the effort in getting kids excited about foods that are good for people.
The Post Review spoke with Susan Clayton, the coordinator for the market, the day the market launched its new Power of Produce program. Kids ages 4-12 will get $2 tokens to spend on their choice of fresh fruits or veggies.
“This is the first year for us,” Clayton said of the program. “We have an advisory board, and they are very proactive in looking for other programs and to apply for grants. We were approved for this program and got some grant money to get it going. It is the University of Minnesota Extension (grant program), and they do the grants for this reason — to nurture the program.”
While the market started May 19 with plants, June 30 was the first day for the Power of Produce. Clayton said it will run for six weeks. They also plan to revive the program for Ki Chi Saga Days in the middle of August.
“The kids can spend a token each day that we visit the market and choose from fruit and vegetables,” Clayton said. “There are four farms right now that do fruits and veggies. We normally have five, but some farmers got hit by hail and are just trying to hold on for the season. They will do the best they can with what they have. We are hoping that people will come out and support them anyway.”
Clayton is excited about this program working toward the dual goals of helping farmers make it through a tough season and getting kids excited about enjoying fresh, flavorful, healthy foods.
Clayton has background in arts and organizing art festivals.
“The first layer of promotions that we did was to send out flyers to the schools and go around and visit the schools,” she said. “The excitement was very contagious. It seems like this is something really needed in our county.”