Fresh Food Fridays: Placemaking & FoodOct 21 2016 · 1 comment · Uncategorized
Each summer, Sweet Water Foundation’s Perry Ave Community Farm brings locally grown food to more than 200 families each week on Chicago’s South Side. “Fresh Food Fridays” has become a neighborhood tradition in the Englewood/Washington Park community from June to October. Each week patrons take home fresh harvests of collard greens,kale, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, sunflower seeds, okra, turnips, peppers, basil , mint, watermelon and more. Come rain or shine Sweet Water Foundation (SWF) team members, youth apprentices and interns have been there to serve up fresh foods to neighbors, friends, and visitors. Fresh Food Fridays are also the vehicle through which SWF harvests large quantities of produce for distribution to local schools, churches, and non-profits that set up market stands to increase access to quality produce across the community.
However, Fresh Food Fridays is so much more than a farmer’s market. Sweet Water Foundation believes that food is an underutilized force for improving health, wellness, and socio-cultural connections in our community. Fresh Food Fridays provides an opportunity for SWF staff to give tours, host nutrition and cooking lessons, document the history of the community through photos and record interviews, and co-create a vision new possibilities for the Perry Ave Community with visitors. Elders share stories of their experiences in the neighborhood before blight. Mothers, grandmothers and uncles share recipes. Others offer preparation tips to encourage fellow patrons to experiment with unfamiliar foods. Some came out of pure curiosity. Regardless of what brought them to Fresh Food Fridays or which food they walked away with in their bags, all were able to experience the feel-good atmosphere of creativity and rebirth in this communal space.