Farmers Market Arrives at the Temple Grounds!
In the sweltering days of summer, SATHI has been out and about doing outreach in the local community. On July 28th, through funds from the New Jersey Healthy Communities Grant, SATHI was able to setup a pop-up farmers market at the Sri Guruvaayoorappan Temple grounds in Morganville for the 8th annual Indo-American Health Fair. This was a possible through a collaboration between SATHI, Rutgers Medical School, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and the New Brunswick Farmers Market Initiative from SEBS.
Over 10,000 people attend the two-day fair each year to see cultural dances, enjoy traditional foods, and receive free heath screenings. SATHI’s pop up farmers market was part of the volunteer physician tent. Throughout the day, over 600 families visited the tent and spun a wheel to win a voucher of varying denominations to choose their own fresh fruits and vegetables from Honeybrook Organic Farms. Produce included Watermelons, Kale, Heirloom Tomatoes (the favorite of the bunch!), Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cantaloupe, and Peppers. Children were seen enjoying the cherry tomatoes right there and then on the hot and humid day! In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, we also gave out 610 recipe booklets. These recipes included instructions or preparing fermented vegetable foods like Homemade Sauerkraut, Chimichurri Sauce, and different variations of Kale Salads and Chips.
The Temple Board Members visited our booth and were interested in holding similar events with fresh produce. Additionally, the Garden Volunteer Group showed interest in starting a community garden to add produce to the temple Cafeteria Menu. The temple Cafeteria serves many variations of rice dishes such as idli, dosa, curd rice, etc. Adding a small salad or just fresh cherry tomatoes would certainly enhance these meals. Overall, seeing families excitedly choose fresh produce over fair foods and return to our tent gave us an affirmation that our work was important and our time was well-spent.
About the Grantee
SATHI The South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI) was established in 2007 at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School with the mission to improve health outcomes in South Asians living in the United States. SATHI serves as a platform to engage multidisciplinary professionals such as researchers, health practitioners, public health experts, community-based organizations and community members.