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MUSD kicks off Junior Farmer’s Market
Farmer market
Kyndra Kiser and Nutrition Education Supervisor Stephanie Huff get ready for the opening of the Junior Farmer’s Market on Thursday.

Sara Stanley may not be a big fan of fruits and vegetables.

At least not yet.

The 9-year-old Lathrop girl did learn about the importance of eating fresh produce at Thursday’s Junior Farmer’s Market.

This one held at Northgate Park in Manteca was of six planned for this summer by Manteca Unified’s Nutrition Education Department.

The inaugural one kicked off two days earlier at Library Park.

“The kids loved it,” said Kyndra Kiser, a UC Merced student interning at MUSD for the second straight year.

A 2016 graduate of Sierra High, she’s studying Behavioral Science, spending last summer interning at the district in the Special Education Department.

“I learned about the (Nutrition Education) internship from a friend and thought it would be really fun,” Kiser said. “And you get to play with kids.”

She’s enjoying working with Nutrition Education Supervisor Stephanie Huff, who credits the Raley’s Extra Credit Fund for helping make possible the Junior Farmer’s Market.

How does it work?

“Each student will receive $4 worth of Nutrition Education Dollars after listening to a 15-minute informational presentation on the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and the benefits of locally sourced produce. Then, students will use their (Nutrition Education) Dollars on produce items of their choice,” Huff said.

She added: “If they pick or choose (a fruit or vegetable), most likely they’ll eat it.”

The Junior Farmer’s Market is being held in conjunction with the Summer BBQs — in this case, free hamburgers with the fixings.

The Junior Farmer’s Market and Summer BBQ will also be held on:

Friday, July 20, 11 a.m., Shasta Park, 955 E. Edison St., Manteca.

Thursday, July 26, 11 a.m., Woodward Park, 710 E. Woodward Ave., Manteca.

Thursday, July 26, 11 a.m., Sangalang Park, 13470 Slate St., Lathrop.

Friday, July 27, 11:30 a.m. Paul E. Weston Park, 1398 Ishi Goto St., Stockton.

At Northgate, many got word of the free lunchtime event online or via social media.

The Junior Farmers Market offered fresh oranges, plums, nectarines, corn, cucumbers, bell peppers, and squash, to name a few.

Upon receiving their Nutrition Education Dollars, youngsters applied their math skills to get the best bang for their buck.

Pineapple, for example, was $1 while oranges were going two for $1.

“I wanted to learn more about nutrition,” Lathrop High senior Eghosa Ogbeide said.

She, too, was spending her summer helping out Huff and company.

As for Stanley and her 8-year-old sister Sophia Stanley, they were trying to figure out how to spend their Nutrition Service Dollars at the Junior Farmer’s Market.

“We’ll get more fruits than vegetables,” Sara Stanley said.

For more information, call 209.858.0729 or log on to