The Jackson County Extension Office will conduct a pop-up mobile food market during the Jackson County Junior Fair.
The market will be hosted from 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, said Crystal Cochran, youth health educator for the Family Nutrition Program.
“It is going to be a food market where 200 kids will be given four tokens each, and they can go through the line and choose different types of produce,” she said. “They get to actually shop using the tokens and take the produce home for free.”
The market is sponsored by TransCanada. It will feature items such as carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.
The produce is being provided Crihfield Farms and is locally grown. The carrots are from Patriot Garden Project and were grown by veterans in Charleston.
“Everything will be delivered on Monday and picked over the weekend so it’s all fresh,” Cochran said.
A taste-testing also will be conducted with samples of dishes made from the available ingredients. There also will be a “rethink-your-drink” program that teaches children to infuse water with fresh-fruit flavors.
“We always try to make something with whatever we have. We’ll have samples of pre-prepared dishes – we’re going to make a salsa since we know we’re going to have the tomatoes. For the fruit-infused waters, we were thinking maybe cucumber mint,” Cochran said.
The aim of the mobile market is to teach children to make healthy diet choices, as well as provide them with fresh produce. They get to “own” the experience since they will be picking out the items themselves.
“Definitely the aim is to get as much fresh fruits and vegetables sent home with families as we can, and also to encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables,” Cochran said.
Cochran has conducted mobile markets in the past, typically at schools. The fair is a great opportunity to reach children since so many youths will be in attendance.
“We’ll have hundreds of kids here who are showing their animals,” she said. “We’re going to have tables set up under canopies. The kids will get a produce bag that has neat little things like information about eating healthy. They will be able to go through the line, and they can shop. It will be a good experience.”