Apple Seeds assisted The Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club, Helen Tyson Middle School, and Bayyari Elementary School in establishing weekly student run farmers markets. Students prepared promotional materials for their markets. They prepared and offered samples of healthy snacks to their peers. They also sent their peers and their peers’ families home with ingredients to make this snack at home as well as lots of fresh vegetables. Each week, students at the Boys and Girls Club participate in a program that includes a Healthy Cooking Class, a student run farmers market, and a farm to table cooking class at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm. The trip out to the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm included harvesting the ingredients for a meal straight out the garden as well as preparing the meal in the Apple Seeds garden kitchen, setting the table, and sitting down to eat garden burritos in the garden. This project created a positive attitude around fresh fruits and vegetables while also increasing access to healthy food. The current results after the markets show a 27% increase in willingness to try a new vegetable. 41% of the students reported replicating the sample snack at home after the market. This is the first step towards changing attitude around eating fruits and vegetables to reach the long-term goal of greater health in NW AR.
Over 500 pounds of fresh food was donated for this project. Over 500 bags with ingredients for the recipe were distributed.