BY PATRICIA DUFF
Nov. 24, 2013
When I received this email update from Mary Fisher, president and founder of Whidbey Island Nourishes (WIN), I felt compelled to share it with readers. It’s an encouraging look at what some well-organized and sensible efforts by a community can do to turn the tide of malnourishment in our communities.
Six years ago, Fisher was shocked to learn that 60 children were living in the woods on South Whidbey. Fisher asked friends, “We have to make sure they have enough food! Will you help me cook?” The answer was a resounding, “Yes. Of course.”
Today WIN has more than 100 volunteers and is making more than 1,500 meals a month, working with schools and other community organizations to make sure South Whidbey’s kids are getting enough nutrition.
Fisher wrote about a Nov. 14 event called “Taste of Whidbey” at Langley Middle School at which 7th graders dished up potatoes they grew themselves, and some other locally grown fare, to their fellow students. Fisher adds photos to help tell this hopeful story of a community coming together to make sure everybody gets the nourishment (and education about nourishment) they need. (Fisher’s commentary is italicized.)
WIN collaborated with Cary Peterson, who created the vegetable garden at the Good Cheer Foodbank in Langley and who organized the fresh vegetables brought from Whidbey farmers Annie Jesperson and Nathaniel of Deep Harvest Farm.
Potatoes grown by the 7th grader were roasted by Karen Korbelik of Good Cheer Foodbank kitchen and then served by the students.
The kids also served locally-grown carrot sticks and the very popular kale salad, with WIN volunteers Trisha Brigham, Barb Schiltz, Susan Bennett, Cate Nelson, Dorit Zingarelli, Sandy Menashe and Margaret Andersen, who washed, and finely chopped, chopped, chopped, sliced and diced the ingredients.
Seventh graders from South Whidbey were proud to serve the potatoes they grew, as well as the kale salad and carrot sticks. The table also showed the produce fresh from the garden, so kids would learn what it looked like before getting diced and sliced.
Seventh graders dish up the good stuff at the Taste of Whidbey.
It was Peterson (in pink cap), who created the vegetable garden at the Good Cheer Foodbank. She is presently building gardens at the schools on South Whidbey.
Peterson talks to WIN organizer Schlitz, while farmers Talbot and Jesperson look on.
Our community is truly blessed to have a dynamo like Cary. Mix her with one of WIN’s committed dynamos, Barb Schlitz, and you are bound to get the most nutritious food possible.
Deep Harvest Farm also provided the fabulous kale that was the rock star of the day!
Jesperson and Talbot bring their Deep Harvest Farm produce to the Bayview Farmers Market and other markets in the summer and fall.
South Whidbey Record reporter Celeste Erickson was on hand to interview folks. She interviews a young man who gave up a reward of a Haagen Dazs bar for a third helping of kale salad.
Seventh grade students looking on are tickled by their fellow student’s celebrity status involving the kale salad.
It was such a rich collaboration with the teachers, staff and students of the Langley Middle School, “Cary the connector,” Deep Harvest Farm, Karen at Good Cheer, who helped cook, and our wonderful WIN volunteers who prepared the food.
It’s just delicious to think about all our Whidbey kids getting fresh nutritious food. And right from our own back yard! Nothing quite as delightful as having a kid come up for third serving of kale! The staff and students were clamoring for the recipe for the salad and dressing.
Many thanks to Dorit Zingarelli, a WIN board member, designer of all our lovely invites and devoted to good food for kids; for taking the lead on pulling the WIN team together to chop, chop, chop the kale, apples, radishes and calendula blossoms.