Mention Farmer Foodshare to Kimmie Champitto, Assistant Director at Johnson Pond Learning Center in Fuquay-Varina, and she breaks into a brilliant smile. “I was so glad that Wake County Smart Start’s Farm to Child Care connected us to Farmer Foodshare! Such good things have come from that connection!"
“Picture a 3-year-old running down the hall toward her Dad waving a Ziploc bag and shouting, ‘Daddy! Daddy I’ve got salad!’ That’s the difference Farmer Foodshare has made here.”
Along with many other responsibilities, Kimmie is charged with balancing budgets while meeting dietary requirements and still planning menus that kids will not only eat, but also enjoy. She succeeds!
Kimmie has recipes that make little boys say, “Oh, boy! Leaves!”
Fresh food is changing lives. One mom told Kimmie that after she let her veggie-resistant son pick out some fruit at the mini-farmer’s market after school in the lobby of Johnson Pond Learning Center, he told her about a dish they had eaten with green peppers. Eager to build on this new appetite, Mom bought two peppers and started home. The produce was in the back seat with her son. Halfway home, she glanced in the rear view mirror to see her son chomping on the pepper as if it was an apple. She called Kimmie to say, “Thank you!”
Another mom reported that her older child had gone to a different preschool and had grown used to “kid-friendly” foods: pizza, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and hot dogs. Those became his comfort foods. Her children at Johnson Pond love ‘leaves’ and welcome new fresh veggies, - expecting them to be yummy. She was also very glad that the younger children were so much less ‘picky’ than the older child had become, and were always willing to try new foods.
How does Kimmie make this magic? She has been an enthusiastic supporter of Farmer Foodshare’s POP Market (Pennies on the Pound). Farmer Foodshare’s supporters make it possible for Farmer Foodshare to offer Johnson Pond a wholesale market that gives small – mid-scale farmers a fair price, and still keep the markup small enough that fresh, local, healthy produce is a reasonable choice for institutions on budgets.