KERNEL at the Fairwood Farmers’ Market: making nutrition and exercise fun and delicious

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 6:00 am

Photo courtesy of http://www.catholiccharitiesfoodforall.org/

By Rachel Edmondson

My family loves to go to farmers’ markets. We love fresh, local produce, and we find it’s even more appealing when you are face to face with the people who grew it. Of course, farmers’ markets have a lot more than just produce—artisan foods, fresh meat, crafts, and brews—something for everyone.

Last summer, my husband made it a goal to visit all of the different farmers’ markets in Spokane. Each market has a different atmosphere. While some vendors sell at multiple markets, some only sell at one or two. This makes each market as unique as the communities they serve.

While my girls do enjoy farmers’ markets, I’m not sure they would have been on board with visiting the markets as often as we did if it wasn’t for the KERNEL booth. Each time we arrived at a market, the first thing they wanted to do was see if KERNEL was there.

So what is KERNEL? KERNEL stand for “Kids Eating Right—Nutrition and Exercise for Life,” a program that Catholic Charities Food For All developed to reach out to families at farmers’ markets. The program is designed to introduce children to healthy living and eating habits by engaging them in simple educational activities each week. Once kids complete the fun activity, they receive a $2 voucher they can use to purchase fruits and vegetables at the market. My kids loved choosing how to spend their $2 (they bought a lot of peaches!).

Some of the activities my kids participated in last summer included learning about companion plants (we even got a plant to bring home), participating in jump rope challenges (after learning how to choose the right length for a jump rope and about the health benefits of jumping rope), and digging in dirt while learning about composting with worms. They were always excited to see what the next activity would be.

Last summer, the Library District partnered with Catholic Charities Food For All program by staffing the KERNEL table at the Fairwood Farmers’ Market. Staff from the North Spokane Library loved being out in the community, connecting with our members, and being a part of the Fairwood Farmers’ Market’s mission to revitalize the Fairwood district in North Spokane. This summer, library staff are excited to return to the market and engage kids in enjoyable activities that get them excited about healthy food and exercise. We’ll be at the farmers’ market every Tuesday through October 10, 3–7pm. We’d love to see you there, so be sure to look for the KERNEL booth the next time you’re at the market and stop by to say hello.

Fairwood Farmers’ Market
319 W Hastings Rd
May 16–October 10, 2017
Tuesdays, 3–7pm

You can see all scheduled dates for the KERNEL booth at Fairwood Farmers’ Market on our event calendar.

Rachel Edmondson

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