Each week under the yellow market tents, interns from the WVU and James Madison University lead activities for our market kids to learn more about the power of produce. This week’s blog brought to you by one of our interns, Alexis. Take it away Alexis!
The Power of Produce Club (POP Club) is fighting the stigma that kids won’t eat their veggies! This unique opportunity is designed for kids ages 5-12 to dive into the exciting world of produce every Sunday at The Bridgeport Farmers market. Once registered by one of the interns (or Athena our boss) and a parent’s signature is provided, participants are given a “passport to health” which is stamped every week they are present. Each week the kids receive two dollars in tokens which they may spend on any produce in the market. Activities vary week to week and range from games like Guess that Veggie, to taste tests, painting, bean planting, Composting with Catherine, Rethink your Drink and more! Some major perks of the program are that it’s free so anyone can join, kids get to learn and hopefully have a good time doing it, but also have the opportunity to budget their tokens. The other interns and I were all amazed at how frugal some of the participants were! Some saved tokens not only from week to week but actually from YEARS in the past.
So what is a POP Club intern, exactly? Lydia, Hope, and I (Alexis) are Human Nutrition and Foods majors at WVU all interested in the field of dietetics. Catherine is an Environment and Sustainability major at James Madison University. Naturally, we all jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this program. Our awesome boss Athena Freedlander created this internship through the POP club and the awesome support of the Bridgeport Farmers Market, so that interns like us could share what we’ve learned in our classes with kids in the community to promote fruit and veggie eating and overall health, and so that we interns could learn about what farmers market life is all about. In addition to planning activities, helping with set-up, working with POP kids, and running our Instagram page (follow us at @popclub_bfm) with Catherine and I, Hope and Lydia have also been volunteering with Harmony Farms which has been an awesome supporter of ours. They just couldn’t get enough! I can say with confidence that I’m speaking for all of us when I say that we have all enjoyed working with the kids and the delicious, local, seasonal produce.
I asked some participants and an intern to write down, “What is your favorite part of POP club?”
Here is what they had to say:
“Pop club is a great way to be able to get fruits and veggies. My favorite part is the activity.”
“It’s a good, fun activity for when you’re bored. I’m glad POP club is here
–Isabella .” (Just some context their parents are vendors here)
“My favorite part of POP Club is being able to expose kids to new and interesting foods and ideas.”
Here are some moments captured of POP Club Fun!
Beans, beans the magical fruit!
A happy group of interns our first week 😊
(Hope top left, Alexis top right, Lydia bottom left with watermelon, Catherine bottom right with banana)