A public library program aimed at empowering kids through fun food adventures to make well informed decisions about what ends up on the kitchen table
Every summer millions of kids of all ages sign up for their local library book club. Why not leverage this to promote the consumption of locally grown foods....Food Trails.
Kids could get a map to track their adventures, activities and tasks. Each adventure, activity or tasks is equal to a certain amount of points. Prizes are distributed based on the number of points collected.
The first adventure begins with identifying where all the food in their fridge comes from...are the tomatoes from a grocery store or the farmers market....Chile or Ecuador.
The rest of the adventures and activities introduce them to locally grown foods and where they can get them.
Activities could include planting an herb garden above the kitchen windowsill, or a garden in a sack, picking fruits from a local farm...or milking a cow. Kids could do 100% local sourced stands for drinks and fruit and vegetables (like a lemonade stand)
Tasks could include things like take a picture of your local farmer. Going to a local butchery or bread shop, helping mom or dad make a 100% locally sourced meal. Or putting in some time at a local farm or coop. Or measuring how much gas it took to get your vegetables from the grocery store to your plate.
Or tell the story of the milk in your glass....that would be fun...meet Bessie the cow who provides the whole milk at the farmers market...she works pretty hard!
Kids get fun stickers and other trinkets, plus points when they complete an adventure, activity or task. Households get coupons and vouchers to restaurants, farmers markets, coops etc.
Community events could be used to support what the kids are doing...kinda like a community wide scavenger hunt. An event like dine locally (which would feature restaurants that use locally grown foods) could be used as a bonus point activity. The city could work with local producers and outlets to develop community wide events. It would be interesting to see the city start an urban farm...and then this could be an activity that the kids could participate in....triple bonus points.
By the end kids will have had a bunch of fun adventures and the ability to choose locally grown foods and the food trails map becomes a sourcing guide for the family.
Given that kids dictate a lot of what ends up on the kitchen table...at the end what mom and dad put in the fridge will probably include more locally grown foods. And they will have a whole set of adventures to guide them.