By Susan Esters, wkunews.wordpress.com
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 8:00 AM CST
WKU and the Community Farmers Market BG (CFM) are gearing up for the summer season with a new commitment to helping people rethink local.
“Our goal is to not only educate people about eating healthy, local foods, but to give them access to them, as well,” said Christian Ryan, WKU sustainability coordinator. “By working together, we are able to reach more people throughout our community and make local food a priority and a reality.”
Ryan said the partnership between WKU and Community Farmers Market BG creates opportunities for people on and off campus. Several upcoming events will help them achieve their goal of getting local foods to people throughout the Bowling Green area.
The upcoming WKU Earth Day Festival is a one example of their outreach efforts. The Festival will be Tuesday (April 22) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Centennial Mall on the WKU main campus. CFM will be there with a variety of foods from local farms and market vendors. Dietetic students will also be on hand to offer cooking demonstrations for quick and easy ways to prepare fruits and vegetables.
All food can be purchased with Big Red Dollars, which will be doubled through the Double Dollars program.
“Students can purchase $10 worth of food from the Market with just $5 in Big Red Dollars,” Ryan said. CFM offers that year-round, according to Ryan. They also offer the same benefit to customers using Senior Nutrition and SNAP vouchers.
Double Dollars are offered through a partnership with local organizations and businesses that support it through donations. Partners include Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Church at Bowling Green, Citizens First Bank, Little Angels Attic, Rustic Nail & Co, First Christian Church, WDNS-D93, WBKO, Moms Everyday, Unitarian Universalist Church of BG, Barren River District Health Department, The Foundry and Light of Chance.
Another program the partnership has developed is the Mobile Market program.
“We received a grant through a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program, which allowed us to purchase an old school bus and turn it into a farmers market on wheels,” Ryan said.
The Mobile Market bus, a 1982 Carpenter Cadet, was purchased through the grant that supports the Local Food for Everyone initiative. The initiative is a partnership between WKU and CFM focused on making fresh, local, healthy food more accessible and affordable by connecting local producers and consumers.
The Mobile Market takes fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, baked goods, canned items and other locally produced foods directly to communities that don’t have easy access to them.
The Mobile Market season officially launches Wednesday (April 23) with two locations: the Barren River District Health Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Boys & Girls Club from 3 to 6 p.m. Local farmers and farmers market vendors will be on hand with various local foods. Double Dollars are always available at CFM.
The WKU Office of Sustainability promotes a culture of sustainability at WKU, integrating principles of ecological integrity and social equity into academics, practices and partnerships. Their goal is to ensure that WKU is an institution that provides innovative solutions to global challenges, prepares students as engaged and responsible citizens and observes best practices in campus operations and services. For information on the WKU Earth Day Festival, visit www.wku.edu/sustainability or contact Christian Ryan at (270) 745-2508 or email@example.com.
Community Farmers Market is a year-round market featuring over 50 vendors with a variety of local foods and handcrafted items. The Market also regularly offers cooking demonstrations, folk school classes and live music. Hours are Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and Tuesdays from 2-6 p.m. It is located at 2319 Nashville Road next to the WKU Store. For information about Community Farmers Market BG, visit www.communityfarmersmarketbg.com.