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Farm It Forward with Ben’s Produce and Partners!


Farm It Forward Benefit at Mother’s Day Brunch at Market Restaurant

Enjoy local farm-fresh foods for Mother’s Day Brunch at Market Restaurant to benefit the Farm It Forward program, a new partnership among AHA and local Wake County farmers. Farm It Forward is a community supported agriculture (CSA) program for Wake County citizens who are working to improve their nutrition due to health concerns and who could use extra help financially to make these changes. Through Farm It Forward, they can receive free shares of healthy, local produce for 10 weeks from local farmers.

Market will host brunch on May 8, Mother’s Day, from 10 am-3 pm, and feature the Farm It Forward Frittata and Strawberry Mint Julep, made with all local ingredients donated by local farms Ben’s Produce and New Grass Gardens. All proceeds from the frittata and the drink will be donated to support Farm It Forward shares for community members in need. Ben’s Produce also will sell flowers and bedding plants at Market on May 8 to raise funds for the program.
 
Farm It Forward was conceived by farmers Ben Shields and Patricia Parker of Ben’s Produce. “Farm It Forward is about helping food insecure people in our area have access to locally grown healthy foods,” Shields said. “Community is very important to us; our mission is to strive for healthier people, community and agriculture by growing and sharing the best food we can. Working with AHA on this project has enabled us to connect with people who are food insecure but not necessarily receiving benefits for food.”
 
AHA is coordinating with Energize!, a WakeMed Children’s Diabetes & Endocrinology Programto identify Farm It Forward shares recipients. Energize! is dedicated to helping kids aged 6 to 18 reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and the program teaches young people and their families how to build lifelong healthy attitudes about food and fitness. Sixty percent of Energize participants are low-income.
 
“Connecting Farm It Forward with Energize! is a great way to increase access to healthy foods for people in Wake County who have a real need,” commented Laura Aiken, director of AHA and community outreach for WakeMed. “Plus this engages farmers and provides an additional way to support them. CSAs help farmers as community members invest financially in local farms and help defray the significant costs of planting for a season by purchasing shares,” Aiken added.
 
Farm It Forward launches this spring with support from AHA and financial donations from the community. Donations are welcome; checks payable to WakeMed with Advocates for Health in Action in the subject line may be mailed to WakeMed, 3000 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, NC 27610, ATTN: Laura Aiken.
 
Brunch at Market
A health-focused eatery in downtown Raleigh, Market Restaurant is committed to serving fresh, seasonal dishes made of locally grown ingredients. A variety of child-friendly food options are available, and every attempt is made to accommodate special diets. Call-ahead seating is recommended; call 754-0900. Visit www.EatAtMarket.com for a peek at the menu. Market is located at 938 N. Blount St. in the historic Mordecai neighborhood in downtown Raleigh.
 
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