Senior Center takes a field trip to the Farmers' Market

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Field trip to the market led by Chef Janice, center.  Photo by Jon Ann Cruver.

By Teri Howatt, Jon Ann Cruver, and Constance Perenyi

On Sunday, July 10, 2011, several seniors from the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center Cooking class spent time exploring the fresh fruits, vegetables and a world of other "goodies." Their job was to search around the market for items that were new to them, pay for it with their Market Bucks and then bring the items to cooking class. For some, this was their first time at the LFP Farmers Market, while others enjoyed searching for that "something new."

Back in the kitchen, preparing the veggies.
Photo by Jon Ann Cruver
Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center's Chef Janice Bellotti-Pace took her cooking class to the Market as one of their first field trips into the good food world. Classes are held every other week at the Senior Center under the guidance of Chef Janice. She saw it as a good opportunity for the seniors to explore the market with new eyes while using Market Bucks to help pay for the items they found.

Sea beans, a giant Kohlrabi, golden beets, fresh currants and a whole slew of different squashes found their way to the Senior Center's kitchen. The class discovered they could sauté beet greens and then serve the beets on the side; they combined the currants with fresh raspberries for a seasonally tasty jam, they learned how to stuff the squashes and nibbled on nasturtium flowers. Eyes popped when they tried the sea beans and found out they were actually pretty tasty!

This class was just one in many that Chef Janice conducts in food "basics," some quite new to the seniors in her class. To find out more about the classes, go to the Senior Center website

Aside from providing nutritious meals to seniors at the Center, Chef Janice also runs Kitchen Corner Catering which generates income for the Senior Center. The Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center is located at the Shoreline Center, 18560 1st Ave NE #1, Shoreline, 98155, 206-365-1536.

Purchased at the Farmers' Market with Market Bucks
Photo by Jon Ann Cruver
About Market Bucks
In 2008, Friends of Third Place Commons received a venture grant from United Way of King County to develop and test a new food assistance program at the Lake Forest Park Farmers Market. Now in its 4th year, the Market Bucks program makes fresh, nutritious local food accessible to people who may not otherwise be able to shop at a farmers market. Friends works with partner agencies and organizations to distribute $2 coupons that can be used to buy food directly from the farmers at the market.

After a successful pilot phase, the Lake Forest Park Farmers Market was awarded two more United Way grants, and helped put nearly $25,000 worth of healthy food on the plates of our neighbors in need. In 2011, the Church of the Redeemer in Kenmore stepped up to help fund the program, and their generosity is making a difference in our community this summer.

The Senior Center is one of the partners participating in this program. Not only do Market Bucks provide access to healthy food, they also are incentive for seniors to get out and enjoy the friendly social atmosphere of the market. As Friends of Third Place Commons expands our commitment to nutrition education through the market, we are inspired by the innovative ways the Senior Center teaches members how to make the most of fresh market fare.

More About the Market
The LFP Third Place Commons Farmers Market has been made possible thanks to generous grants. Startup funding was made possible through the King County Community Service Fund, awarded by the King County Council.

The City of Lake Forest Park also provided startup funding, awarded by the Lake Forest Park City Council.

The LFP Commons Farmers Market is a member of the Washington State Farmers Market Association. We also learned about setting up a farmers market from PPS: Project for Public Spaces.


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