By Julia Howard
Summer has officially begun and throughout the state, summertime activities have been re-imagined to ensure safety and to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s Power of Produce Club, or POP Club, will continue to offer children nutrition education with new take-home activities and online support.
Beginning on July 8, children can participate in POP Club by visiting the Saratoga Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays with their parents or caregivers. At the market, they will receive an activity bag “to go”. The POP Club activity bag will include a take-home activity, recipe cards, and a $2 POP coin that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market. POP Passports will not be handed out and stamped this year, but families can anticipate nourishing activities with complete directions and supplies. Although the club is open to children, it is especially geared toward those aged 5-12.
In addition to weekly POP Club ‘to go’ bags, parents and caregivers can visit the farmers’ market’s website for video tutorials and photos that pair with each activity. This online platform will give children and parents the opportunity to ask questions, share experiences, and connect with the farmers’ market for additional support.
“We are very happy to host our fifth season of POP Club with the generous support of the Christopher Dailey Foundation,” says Emily Meagher, market administrator. “It’s important that we give children the tools to be involved in agriculture and community, to help them understand that food and farming are intrinsically connected.”
POP Club continues to be a free program and will run for 8 weeks beginning on Wednesday, July 8, and running through the end of August. POP Club activity bags will be available at the green market information tent on Wednesday, 3-6 p.m. at the farmers’ market.
This season’s take-home activities include crafts, recipes, experiments, and information using seasonal fruits and vegetables as POP Club continues to give both children and their parents a chance to learn about local foods and farming in a hands-on way.
Buying produce with a POP coin gives children a chance to meet farmers, learn money skills, and make smart food choices.
This week’s recipe: Lightened Up Strawberry Shortcake