Free Farmers Market Part Of Food For Kids Program

Tuesday, October 3rd 2017, 10:32 pm
By: News On 6

If you're planning to go to the Tulsa State Fair, we hope you'll stop by our News On 6 booth.

We love talking to people and we're collecting money for the Food for Kids program.

Lots of us know about the backpacks supplied through the program to help feed hungry kids.

But Food for Kids doesn't stop there.

10/3/2017 Related Story: 11-Year-Old Oklahoma Boy Spends Birthday Volunteering At Food Bank

It also supplies food pantries at many area schools.

And for the youngest of students, there's something even more that helps lift entire families.

Every month at Reed Early Childhood Development Center, you'll find something unusual in the parking lot: a farmers market. A free farmers market.

"The parents love it. They're always asking when's the day and they're looking forward to it," said Shannon Boone of the development center.

Reed is one of 10 preschools run by CAP Tulsa, which takes a two-generation approach to learning and for Food for Kids.

"Their motto is 'raise up the family, raise up the child.' And they were looking for an approach that would include every member of the family. So the free farmers market grew out of that and its been really successful," said Eileen Bradshaw of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

Tuesday, more than 130 families participated, taking home everything from fresh peaches and apples to potatoes, onions and bread.

"It's really, really good for two things ... economy and help because it's healthy food," said Rebeca Reyes, parent.

For Laresha Boykins, the program is nothing short of a godsend.

Her 3-year-old son is on a special diet, meaning trips to the grocery store are carefully planned and very expensive.

"He's allergic to corn ... so no corn starch, no corn meal ... no corn syrup," Boykins said. "The fresh fruit and veggies ... he can have. I'm just thankful to be able to get it."

The free farmers market is going into its fourth year. And organizers said it's making a difference for children and parents.

"Their kids can come to school ... prepared to learn and have full bellies and be ready for success," said Callie Jo Morey of CAP Tulsa.

"In my mind ... I think about a family sitting down together enjoying a meal and knowing that healthy produce is a part of it," Bradshaw said. "Lots of your viewers have made this all possible and I'm very grateful for the help because I think it's a wonderful project."

Along with your donation, you also get to vote on which News On 6 anchor will kiss a pig this year.

You can also give to Food for Kids even if you can't make it to the fair.

Text MEALS to 501-501 to give $10.

It's a donation that can change a child's life.