The Oregon State University Extension Service and the United Community Action Network’s AmeriCorps program are partnering with the Umpqua Valley Farmers’ Market and the Canyonville Farmers’ Market to bring the Food Hero program to youth for 8 weeks this summer.

Food Hero’s mission is to help low-income Oregonians improve their health through the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Food Hero is a multi-channel social marketing campaign which provides recipes, cooking tips and tools to create healthy and tasty meals on a budget. In Douglas County, the OSU Extension SNAP-Ed program utilizes Food Hero in schools to reach 2,500 kids each year.

Children age 3 and older are encouraged to participate in this exciting passport program that includes tasting fruits and vegetables in fun ways, vegetable art and mystery veggie id. Starting June 14, there will be a Food Hero booth at the Canyonville Farmers’ Market. Starting June 17, a Food Hero booth will be set up at the Umpqua Valley Farmers’ Market.

Visitors may stop by the booth the first week to get a passport and taste a recipe using seasonal fruits and vegetables. Every kid participating in the program will receive $2 in vouchers each week to spend at the market on fruits and vegetables of their choice.

Kids can participate any time between June 14 and Aug. 2 in Canyonville and June 17 and Aug. 5 in Roseburg. Kids who participate six out of eight weeks will receive a special prize. Food tastings and activities will happen between 10 a.m. and noon each market day. Kids can stop by the booth anytime during market hours to have their passport stamped and receive their vouchers.

The goal of the Food Hero @ Farmers Market Program is to encourage kids to try new fruits and vegetables, increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, and support local farms by increasing the number of families shopping at local farmers markets.

Funding for the program is provided by the OSU Extension Service, USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, UCAN and the Oregon Food Bank FEAST support grant.

Find the Food Hero booth at the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market, located at 1771 West Harvard Ave, Roseburg, and at the Canyonville Farmers Market, located at Seven Feathers South Parking Lot- Exit 99, Canyonville. The hours of the Roseburg market are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and the hours of the Canyonville market are 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Questions about this program can be directed to either Sara Runkel at 541-236-3049 or sara.runkel@oregonstate.edu or to Mandy Hatfield at 541-236-3017 or mandy.hatfield@oregonstate.edu at the Douglas County OSU Extension Service, 1134 SE Douglas Ave., Roseburg.

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(2) comments

Mogie

But parents have to start pushing more fruit and veggies when the kids are still somewhat young. The problem here is that this means people might actually have to spend a few more minutes fixing supper as opposed to just nuking something out of the freezer. I know I could do better. I have a sneaking feeling most of us could do better.

Mogie

You can make eating more veggies fun for your family. Replace french fries with baked green beans. They are really good. Use egg white as the binder. Dust very lightly with garlic powder/onion powder and parmesan cheese. And then bake. Use ranch dressing to dip in. They are VERY good.

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