Stir-fry event raises $400 for Farm to Cafeteria

People at the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts put their money where their taste buds were.

They donated $400 in support of the Olympic Peninsula's Farm to Cafeteria movement.

Nash's Organic Produce hosted an agricultural outreach booth at the Port Angeles festival over Memorial Day weekend, complete with live stir-fry demonstrations and tastings.

Mike Shethar, culinary intern at the farm, oversaw the booth and whipped up tasty seasonal sautés all weekend.

Nash's donation jar attracted $400. Clallam County Health Department waived the more than $100 permit fee and all the money is being donated to the local Farm to Cafeteria movement, headed by Beth Loveridge in Port Angeles.

"The next phase of our efforts is focused on a conference we are hosting this November," Loveridge said.

"In a peninsula-wide effort, we are pulling together folks from all over Washington and the Northwest to share their success stories and strategies for overcoming obstacles."

School administrators, city and county officials from several counties will attend the conference. Tools and resources to continue putting locally grown healthy food onto public school children's plates will be provided.

The Washington state Legislature passed the Local Farms - Healthy Kids Bill several years ago to create a staffed Farm-to-School Program at the state level and to establish and to fund a Washington Grown Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program modeled on the federal program, using food grown and/or processed in Washington.

About half of the program's funding made it through the most recent round of state budget cuts, and the program still includes measures and funding for farmers market EBT machines, farmers market access for senior citizens and WIC recipients, and a Farm-to-Food Banks project.

The donations raised at the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts will help support the wider goals of such programs and help guide locally grown foods into schools.

Donations will continue to be accepted at Booth 10 at the Port Angeles Farmers Market from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Saturday.

For more information, call Loveridge at 809-0027.

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