Green is the valley: Does this look like a desert to you?Photo: Bithead
The produce stand looks like a typical farmers market booth, with a few women and men milling around looking at fresh-picked limes and rosy red tomatoes. But this market is also full of kids, lined up at a neighboring tent waiting for smoothies, and carrying off fruit cups as big as their heads.
“The first few weeks I forgot my money, and couldn’t get anything,” confides one excited elementary-school girl. “Now I get a smoothie after school every week. My mom makes me them at home for me now, too.”
Ruiz Produce sign.Photo: Beth HoffmanEach Thursday, Ruiz Produce sets up this market outside Hildahl Elementary School to bring fresh food into the heart of Ceres, Calif., a heavily Hispanic community south of Modesto with little access to quality fruits and vegetables. One of three stands of its kind in the town, the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children (CPHC) began the market this fall in an attempt to create a healthier environment for the area’s residents.
The Central Valley of California is said to produce half the fruits and vegetab... Read more