Food Agriculture & Nutrition Network of Solano County
By Catherine Park, Public Health Nutritionist
Every Saturday year around, the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association hosts the farmer’s market in the downtown district of Vallejo, CA. Vendors from across Northern California come to share their freshly grown produce and community members come to enjoy! Along with the seasonal produce, local honey and good old snacks, people also come to enjoy the information on nutrition, and take advantage of the WIC-FMNP coupons for families, seniors, CalFresh-EBT and Market Match that are offered and accepted at PCFMA’s farmer’s market.
Programs such as these make locally grown fruits and vegetables more affordable and accessible to nutrition support program recipients. The Food Agriculture and Nutrition Network of Solano County (FANNS) contributed to these efforts by attending the Vallejo farmer’s market on three separate occasions this summer. FANNS hosted a fun fruit and vegetable scavenger hunt for all children and families which garnered a lot of attention and participation from both vendors and visitors.
Six fruit and vegetable plushies were hidden across various produce booths, participants were tasked with finding and capturing a picture of each one and reporting back to the FANNS booth for a prize. The FANNS booth was stationed between WIC and CalFresh-EBT to help target families receiving food assistance benefits and entice them with a game that encouraged visits to multiple vendors thereby increasing business for farmers and opportunities to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Families were provided with cookbooks and stickers upon completion of the scavenger hunt. FANNS used their presence at the Vallejo farmer’s market as an opportunity to share a variety of food resource information and community activity events provided by various FANNS partners and agencies. By engaging with families and initiating new relationships with local farmers through interactive activities and events, FANNS hopes to continue its efforts to connect nutrition support systems and close accessibility gaps.
This activity was a fun step in that direction by bringing healthy food, families and local food systems together in a playful way.
We would like to thank FANNS members who hosted the booth and partners who supported this activity by providing program resources!