Grand View students buy produce at farmers market
Grand View School third grader Kinzee Bailey purchases cucumbers during the Tahlequah Farmers Market on Sept. 22 at the school in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Third graders were given $12 in “veggie bucks” from grant funding through the Cherokee Nation and Tahlequah Farmers Market. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Tahlequah Farmers Market President Marla Saeger speaks with third graders on Sept. 22 at Grand View School in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, before they spend money during the school’s farmers market. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A third grader picks a cucumber to buy from a vendor on Sept. 22 at Grand View School during a farmers market. Third graders were given $12 in “veggie bucks” to buy fruit and vegetables. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Grand View School third grade students on Sept. 22 got to spend their “veggie bucks” to buy fruits and vegetables during a farmers market that was set up at the school.
Each student received $12 worth of “veggie bucks” to spend at the market because the school is one of five schools in the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction to receive grant money through the Centers for Disease Control’s Partners to Improve Community Health program.
“This is our ‘Farm to School’ program. It is funded by the Centers for Disease Control, given to Cherokee Nation…gave to Tahlequah’s Best Program who gave it to us,” Tahlequah Farmers Market President Marla Saeger said.
Saeger said the grant allowed the Tahlequah Farmers Market to visit five area schools so that students could buy produce and learn more about where food comes from. Those other schools were Woodall, Cherokee Elementary, Greenwood Elementary and Heritage Elementary.
“We have been funded again for the next two years and we will be expanding each year,” she added.
Students from other grades were also allowed to experience the market and purchase food with their own money.
Rashelle Vaughn, Grand View child nutrition coordinator, said the market was a great opportunity for all the children at Grand View.
“We want to teach kids where food comes from. Unfortunately, we live in a time period where we’re really losing that connection and kids don’t know where their food comes from. They think the supermarket is the end and they don’t know there’s farmers behind these things,” Vaughn said. “We are trying to get them to see the farmers market and open their mind to it and eyes because they don’t, a lot of them, don’t know it exists, and we’re trying to make them more aware and educate the kids on that about buying local and in our community.”
CN Public Health Educator Hillary Mead said the goal was to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables in children as well as develop the “Farm to School” program in Tahlequah.
“And increase the visibility of the farmers market and to increase their knowledge of participating in the market (in Tahlequah),” Mead said.
The Tahlequah Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday at Norris Park. The market will run through October and will re-open in April.
“We’ve got corn. We’ve got every kind of vegetable. We’ve got eggs. We’ve got cheese. We’ve got crafts. We’ve got meat,” Saeger said.
On most Saturdays, she said there are anywhere from 10 to 15 booths set up during the market and on average 400-600 people visit the market each weekend. Vendors accept cash, credit, cards debit cards, food stamps and the senior nutrition program.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Tahlequah-Farmers-Market-130367113647973/timeline/
or call 918-207-7671 or 918-931-0742.