Anna Lewis, Lisa Aylard, Ann Siddall from the Fall Fair and Heather Shobe prepare for the Home-Grown Grocery Event at the Alberni District Fall Fair. Go ‘shopping’ on Saturday, Sept. 7 and learn more about where food is produced in the Alberni Valley. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Play the Home-Grown Grocery event at the Alberni District Fall Fair

New initiative will be in the Farmers Feed Families building on Sept. 7

This year, the Farmers Feed Families building at the Alberni District Fall Fair will feature a special “Home-Grown Grocery Event” on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The Alberni District Fall Fair Youth Board will be the event’s primary volunteers. They were busy two weeks before the Fall Fair cutting out “groceries” for the event.

“We wanted to create an activity at the Fall Fair that showcased all the food produced in the Alberni Valley and all the places people can get it,” said Heather Shobe, an agricultural support worker with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

The Home-Grown Grocery event, which will take place from 12–8 p.m., will tie in with the annual Family Farms Day on Sept. 15: residents who participate in the Fall Fair event will be given a $10 gift certificate to spend at Family Farms’ Day the following week.

Here is how the event works: Participants (individuals or families) will be given a shopping bag and a limited budget of fake money. They will visit a variety of mock farm stands where youth board members will be “selling” locally available products.

Participants select their “purchases” and when they’ve spent their budget, they bring everything to the cashier, fill out a brief survey, and then they’re done. Participants will then receive their $10 food voucher for Family Farms Day. They get to keep their special shopping bag and a variety of other goodies.

The survey will allow organizers to collect data on what people “purchased”, showing what people are interested in for food, Shobe said.

The Farmers Feed Families building will also feature a variety of display booths with nutritional info all weekend long from sponsor groups such as the Alberni District Fall Fair, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, Island Health, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, Alberni Farmers’ Institute, Alberni Valley Transition Towns Food Group, Buy BC, MNP, and AgSafe BC.

Family Farms Day will be held on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brochures and maps will be available at Echo Centre, the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Fall Fair, and online at the What’s On Your Fork Facebook site.

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