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Webb City Farmers Market teaches kids gardening skills

WEBB CITY, Mo. – Some area kids Tuesday worked on their green thumb in Webb City, Missouri.

The Webb City Farmers Market hosted a kids’ gardening club. The club is designed for kids to learn about starting their own gardens and how to keep that garden thriving.

“I think it’s a life-long skill when you teach a child how to garden,” said Market Manager Rachel Lynch. “It’s something that they can do throughout their life. It helps them connect to their food, so that they can perhaps make healthier choices, and be proud of the food they are eating.”

Every child got to take home a seed project to begin their own garden.

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Webb City Farmer’s Market welcomes back kid’s program

WEBB CITY, Mo. – The kids program is back at the Webb City Farmers Market.

This includes free food and special lessons geared towards kids. Thursday’s meal included hotdogs, broccoli, salad and strawberries, and milk.

MU Extension nutrition educators talked about eating from the garden.

“As a Mom it’s very important to me,” said Webb City Market Manager Rachel Lynch. “I prioritize nutrition. We want our citizens that are growing up, to grow with the best nutrients possible, so that’s why we utilize a lot of our own farms foods in our meals. Today is a hot dog and sliced apples, but they are also getting sweet potato fries from a local farm.”

The free kids meals are given every Thursday at the farmers market. Parents can pick one up for their child without the child present, but parents need to show a photo of themselves with their children.

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Pittsburg starts free summer meals for kids, find programs near you

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Kids and teens can start getting free summer meals in several cities throughout the U.S.

The Pittsburg USD 250 Summer Meals Program started today. It runs June 1 through July 30, 2021, and is free to all children and teens ages 1-18, not just USD 250 students. No registration or identification is required.

“The Summer Meals Program is incredible for our community, and I am proud of our staff who work so hard to make sure kids are fed. The food services team found a way to make it work through the pandemic last summer and during the school year. I have no doubt they will continue to see success in this program.” says Mr. Richard Proffitt, Superintendent of Schools.

You can find a Summer Meal Site Finder for your area here.

Last summer, with Covid restrictions, the USD 250 Food Service staff served over 80,000 meals to kids and teens in the community. It’s part of the federally-funded, state-administered Summer Food Service Program.

SFSP reimburses program operators who serve free healthy meals and snacks to children and teens in low-income areas. Those seeking a location in their area can text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call 1-866-348-6479 to find a site near you.

USDA Extends Free Meals due to Pandemic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended several waivers to allow all children to continue to receive nutritious meals this summer while schools are out of session. These flexibilities are now available through Sept. 30, 2021.

The waivers were previously extended only through June 30, 2021.

“We will do everything we can to make sure children get access to healthy, nutritious meals regardless of their families’ financial circumstances,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Our child nutrition professionals are doing a heroic job ensuring kids across the country have proper nutrition throughout this public health emergency, often times with limited resources. USDA is committed to providing local operators with the flexibilities and resources they need to continue offering the best meal service possible to their children, given their day-to-day realities.”

The waivers extended allow for safe meal distribution sites that serve all children for free, regardless of income. In addition, the waivers:

  • Allow meals served through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) – collectively known as “summer meal programs” – to be made available in all areas at no cost;
  • Allow meals to be served outside of the normally required group settings and meal times; and
  • Allow parents and guardians to pick-up meals for their children, including bulk pick-up to cover multiple days of feeding children.
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Professional eater takes on Judy’s Triple Cheeseburger Challenge.

JASPER, Mo. – A professional food eater came to the Four-States to test his talents in Jasper, Missouri.

If you’re one of Randy Santel’s 1.3 million YouTube subscribers you already know his work. He travels the country taking on eating challenges at restaurants.

He stopped at Judy’s Truck Stop in Jasper to take on Judy’s Triple Cheeseburger Challenge. In the past he’s indulged in massive seafood platters, 40 tacos, and a monster philly cheesesteak.

“Well the big kind of fun with everything in the early days was it was a fun motivation to keep on exercising,” said Santel. “Because I knew that if I kept on doing challenges and didn’t exercise I would get like I am now. But now it’s because I do so many food challenges.”

Santel did finish the triple burger. It took him about 15 minutes. You can try it yourself at Judy’s on north 14th Street in Jasper, Missouri.

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Oklahoma to offer free summer meals for children

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Department of Education announces it will offer free summer meals to kids at nearly 1,400 locations across the state including in the towns of Commerce and Miami. The summer feeding programs will serve two meals a day while kids are out of school on summer break.

“Hunger is one of the more severe roadblocks to the learning process,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “A lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again. That’s why it’s imperative we ensure appropriate nutrition for our children during these critical months, even though school might not be in session.”

More than 400 sponsors will serve a combination of breakfast and lunch or lunch and a snack at 1,359 sites, including parks, schools, community centers, churches and day camps. Many sites also provide education or recreational programming. Summer meals are eligible for children 18 and under, as well as for people up to 21 years old participating in state education programs for the mentally or physically disabled.

Between May and August 2020, 13.4 million meals were served through the summer feeding program.

To find a feeding site near you, go to meals4kidsok.org.

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Mr. Food: Berry Grape Chicken Salad

Brighten up your lunchtime with this Berry Grape Chicken Salad! It’s a super simple recipe that starts with precooked chicken and features lots of fresh fruit (as well as an unexpected ingredient). Once everything comes together, and you take your first bite, you’ll fall in love with this tasty combination!

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup green seedless grapes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 red apple, cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and cut into chunks
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt

What to Do

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix gently until well combined and everything is evenly coated.
  2. Serve on individual plates or a serving platter.

Notes

  • If you’re serving this on a platter, we suggest lining it with some leaf lettuce first, for a fancier look!
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Jefferson’s orders to benefit Boys & Girls Club

JOPLIN, Mo. – Ordering out at Jefferson’s in Joplin today will benefit a local nonprofit.

Monday, May 17, from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., 15% of all sales at the restaurant will be donated back to Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri. Customers should mention the Boys & Girls Club when they order.