The Jefferson Public Citizens program at UVa is there to inspire University students to be active and engaged citizens in the community, The new Farmer’s Market Program at the Charlottesville City Market is an imaginative way to engage children in a lively way in making the best possible choices for healthy and happy lives. The Gives Kids ‘Fun Bucks’ To Buy Fruits and Veggies.
Children who visit the Charlottesville City Market on any Saturday morning for the next few weeks are eligible to receive a free $2 in “Fun Bucks,” to spend on any fruits and vegetables they want.
The Power of Produce, or POP, program launched on Saturday, and from now through 13 October, the children can use Fun Bucks to buy all kinds of fruits and vegetables.
The program is modeled after the Power of Produce Program from the Oregon City Farmers Market. After researching a number of efforts at other markets, the team was attracted to this particular program because they felt that it is the best fit for the Charlottesville community and the City Market.
The website for the Charlottesville Convention and Visitors Center explains further:
The Have a Stake in the Market Team will be offering programming at the Charlottesville City Market open to any child age five through twelve. Programs will include nutritional education, cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, book corners, face painting, and agricultural education. Children will be given $2 in Fun Bucks to spend on any produce item.
Linking the element of choice to the empowerment of spending money, the children experience, in an organic way, the idea that something is of value.
Guided by the old saying, “try it, you might like it,” the kids also participate in the “Two-Bite Club,” by trying at least two bites of the featured vegetable, each week. Working from a general category of sweet peppers, they could select from either red, green, yellow or even purple peppers.
The members of the University’s Jefferson Public Citizens team conducted comprehensive survey research on the Charlottesville City Market and its customers, and they hope to help to increase the number and diversity of market-goers – as well as helping to provide hands-on experience for the children and increase their understanding of fresh food that is produced locally, and healthy and tasteful nutrition.
For an interesting perspective on the abundance of riches in the Charlottesville City Market – and ideas for how to make good use of them, stop by this neighbor’s blog, for a visit.