Local foodbank gives fresh produce, recipes to students and parents

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A local foodbank is helping students and their parents find free and healthy options.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and Eastern Shore calls it their “healthy school market.”

“Each of the households will be able to walk away with pounds of fresh produce at no cost to them. We also have cooking demonstrations, thanks to our partners at Mercy Chefs. They can actually taste and try the produce,” said Community Outreach manager Taylor Miller.

Not only did families get to taste samples, they were even given the recipe.

“My favorite part is having people come to my table … saying they don’t like something and then try it and find out that they do like it,” said Kristin Macan, director of community kitchens and programs at Mercy Chefs

Miller says right now they’re providing the program to 66 different distribution areas.

She says it’s been going on for three years, but recently had a massive expansion.

Dozens of people took advantage and filed in line at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach after a student-parent shadow day.

“I think it’s a good thing, because a lot of times people are too prideful and they won’t to ask for help… This kind of opens the door to take it, like if you needed it but didn’t want to say anything, this is a great aspect to do it that way,” said parent Tazuana Hyman.

“We’re really hoping to improve the health indicators of the families who are attending today, improve their food insecurity and hopefully get them to try those different types of fresh produce, take those new recipes home, and make them for their families,” Miller added.

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