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Students improve free food distribution with healthy food tasting, recipes

by Eric Gorton

Neighborhood Produce Market

Neighborhood Produce Market/Gus Bus and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Partnership 

When: Tuesday, April 9 

4-5 p.m., Harris Gardens (207-215 Vine Street- by the circle) 

5-6 p.m., Lincoln Circle (413 Kelley St.) 

6-7 p.m., Broad & Wolfe (203 Broad St.) 

7-8 p.m. Franklin Heights (468 Norwood St.) 


Also: Thursday, April 25 

4-5 p.m., College Station (1099 Reservoir St) 

5-6 p.m., Avalon Woods (2363 Avalon Woods, by basketball court) 

6-7 p.m., Holly Court (53 Holly Court) 



The Neighborhood Produce Market, a produce distribution program run by the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in partnership with James Madison University’s Reading Road Show/Gus Bus, will make four stops in Harrisonburg from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9. While the produce market has enjoyed success handing out food to families in need, a pair of JMU seniors have boosted the success by offering food tastings, nutrition information and simple recipes. When Lexi Lepecha and Kat Kraft, seniors who will graduate in May with dietetics degrees, heard cultural and language barriers were limiting the food distribution, they went to work creating an easy-to-use curriculum that contains nutrition and other information about 10 food items. The project, which helped fulfill their capstone requirement as honors students, also involved creating recipes that were printed in multiple languages. 



While the food distribution program had success, volunteers noticed some food was not being taken. Gus Bus staff learned people were reluctant to take food with which they were unfamiliar and didn’t know how to prepare. Jennifer Walsh, an assistant professor in the department of health professions, guided the students in addressing the problem. 


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Published: Thursday, April 4, 2019

Last Updated: Friday, May 20, 2022

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