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Monday, June 17, 2013

Fondy Farmers Market

Fresh food for Milwaukee’s inner city

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Attracting an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 visitors each week and selling approximately $600,000 worth of locally grown produce every season, Fondy Food Center’s Fondy Farmers Market (2200 W. Fond Du Lac Ave.) continues to serve as a stabilizing, enriching influence in Milwaukee’s central city, providing fresh, affordable produce from accessible vendors and encouraging community participation. This month, Fondy Farmers Market expands to a four-day schedule and will be open Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Fondy Food has a number of events on the calendar. On Thursday, June 20, the Fondy SOULbration benefit will be held from 6-10 p.m. at The Hamilton (823 E. Hamilton St., Milwaukee). Participants will find desserts, a raffle and the debut of a Fondy-themed video. The event should not be confused with Seasonal Soul: A Celebration of Milwaukee’s Traditions, held every Saturday morning from June 29 through Oct. 26. Seasonal Soul is an interactive series of cooking demonstrations hosted by neighborhood businesses and nonprofit organizations, focusing on the preparation of traditional dishes using fresh produce and healthier methods. This year, Seasonal Soul presenters will encourage individuals to take a greater and more active role in their food preparation by teaching participants how to inexpensively can, preserve and freeze fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fondy Food Center will also host its 2013 Opening Day Celebration and Sixth Annual BBQ Cook-Off, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 22.

Despite the fact that poor eating habits and lifestyle choices have precipitated a culture-crossing, nationwide health crisis, society’s lowest-earning individuals are most likely to be obese and suffer from weight-related ailments. The overwhelming complexity of poverty-related, food accessibility issues is the reason why programs like Fondy Food Center are so important, explains Fondy Food Center’s Executive Director Young Kim.

Kim says that programs like Fondy Food Center, Growing Power and Walnut Way Conservation Core, “are especially important to areas where unhealthy food is paired with lack of income, lack of [accessible] grocery stores, lack of transportation and lack of health insurance. The public conversation is about environmental sustainability, which is important, but we need to keep working towards the socially sustainable piece and the economically sustainable piece. We need to keep moving forward, because we’re not there yet.”

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