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No Books Required for Back-to-School Night at USDA Farmers Market on Friday, September 18

Posted by Annie Ceccarini, Program Manager, The People's Garden Initiative and USDA Farmers Market in Food and Nutrition Farming Initiatives
Sep 16, 2015
USDA Farmers Market at Night Back-to-School Night poster
Join us for Back to School Night at the USDA Farmers Market in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. (Tip: you can print and color this market poster. Click to enlarge)

It’s “Back-to-School Night” at the USDA Farmers Market on Friday, September 18, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., in Washington, D.C., near the National Mall.  This month’s educational exhibitors and vendors will appeal to students of any age.  Market visitors can learn more about healthy eating, reducing food waste or take a trip down memory lane and eat a snack or meal off a planet-friendly disposable lunch tray!

Members of USDA’s Team Nutrition will be at the market to explain how to eat healthy in and out of school. Executive Chef Adam Tanner, from the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC, will show you how to cook delicious and nutritious snacks.

In the United States, food waste, including uneaten food from school cafeterias, is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply.  College student volunteers from the Food Recovery Network (FRN) will use games to teach facts about food waste and hunger in America. College students can step up to the challenge to reduce food waste by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their campuses and communities and donate it to people in need.  FRN also will recover food at the end of the September 18 market. 

You also can meet the student run board of Georgetown University Farmers Market who will share their story. The on-campus market was founded to improve access and availability of healthy, fresh food on Georgetown's campus located in the District of Columbia’s Ward 2--the ward as the USDA Farmers Market.

And volunteers from USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative will give out school gardening tips and insect collection kits.

You won’t want to miss the members of Union Kitchen, a Washington, D.C.-based food incubator, who will offer foods on planet-friendly disposable lunch trays. DMV Food Truck Association vendors including Captain Cookie & The Milkman, The Big Cheese, Fava Pot, Hardy’s BBQ, Sang on Wheels and KaftaMania will be there, too.

This month’s live entertainment will feature a high energy 6-piece indy rock band called The North Country.

We hope to see you on Friday, September 18, if you are in the DC area.  If you can’t join us, check for a farmers market in your hometown or wherever you travel by visiting USDA’s Local Food Directories.  The directories are an easy, one-stop shop for information on local farmers markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) enterprises, food hubs, and on-farm markets.  All of these initiatives contribute to USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) initiative, which coordinates efforts across USDA to support local and regional food systems. 

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has managed the weekly daytime USDA Farmers Market, at 12th and Independence Avenue, S.W., in Washington, D.C. for 20 years.  The daytime market is open on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., May through October.

This year, the USDA Farmers Market team is experimenting with a series of six monthly USDA Farmers Market at Night.  Each night market, open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the third Friday of the month from May through October, will feature different vendors than those at the day market as well as different live entertainment and educational exhibits.

For more details, follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS.  Look for the #USDAFarmersMkt hashtag for updates about both the day and night markets or visit us online.