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Produce Stands Set Up Shop at Bay Area Schools

Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:27 PM PDT
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Produce Stands Set Up Shop at Bay Area Schools

Stephanie & Darrel Wynkoop

Fresh fruit is available at Oakland schools

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The Oakland Unified School District is encouraging parents to take advantage of produce stands that are set up weekly at 12 schools in the city.

The "Oakland Fresh" school produce markets are a collaboration between the district and the East Bay Asian Youth Center, and are designed to encourage young students to eat healthier, said Jennifer LeBarre, director of the district's nutrition services department.

"We're putting it in areas where there's little to no access to fresh produce so that our parents can participate in this program," LeBarre said.

Each market is open one day a week for a couple of hours, and provides pesticide-free produce, much of which is locally grown, she said.

The East Bay Asian Youth Center opened two markets at schools in the district a couple of years ago and partnered with the school district to expand the program, LeBarre said.

The markets are now at a dozen schools, and although LeBarre said "they have been pretty popular," the district is still trying to get more parents to purchase produce there.

District officials were out at two of the markets earlier this week, one at Hoover Elementary School on Tuesday and another at the Global Family and Learning Without Limits school on Wednesday, to encourage more parents to purchase the produce.

The markets recently started accepting food stamps, LeBarre said.

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