When I first heard about Food Day, I was thrilled. I thought it was a day to indulge in all of your favorite foods! I was wrong about what Food Day really is, but I still like the message.
Food Day is a nationwide celebration on October 24 that raises awareness about the need for healthy, affordable, sustainable food. And Montclair, and the surrounding area, really celebrates with town-wide events for all ages, thanks to the United Way of Northern New Jersey and its community partners.
United Way Pantry Partners, which seeks to increase access to healthy foods to those in need in North Essex, has been one of the leaders of Food Day in New Jersey. Last year, United Way helped to mobilize 25 health-focused Montclair-based organizations to join the movement.
From movie viewings to healthy lifestyle presentations, area families can gain invaluable insights and resources as well as take part in healthy food drives for area food pantries and soup kitchens. The Salvation Army volunteers, which includes our own Lisa Davies, will be offering a healthy, seasonal lunch at Fall Food Classic with produce provided by Kings Supermarket and the menu created by two notable local restaurants, Osteria Giotto of Montclair and the Orange Squirrel in Bloomfield.
Here’s a list of public children’s Food Day activities happening in Montclair:
- On Food Day, every elementary and middle school student in the Montclair School district, and at the Phoenix Center, Nutley, will receive an apple from a local Orchard. Apples are also being offered at MHS. Community Sponsors, such as Boxed Organics, Barista Kids and Baristanet, to name a few, donated funds to purchase the apples. Nishuane students are being asked ot wear their favorite apple color to school that day too!
- At Renaissance and Bradford, students will participate in a Pestofest, sampling foods made with organic basil and garlic.
- Abraham Dickerson, food activist and local chef, will provide Glenfield students with samples of a yam, cranberry and carrot dish.
- The Montclair Health Department is sharing the “Ever Taste A Rainbow” nutrition story with local preschools.
- Montclair Public Library is offering a screening of “Greenhorns,” a film about young farmers on Food Day at 3 pm. Refreshments will be provided by Whole Foods Market and United Way Pantry Partners. Montclair Community Farms will hold an information session about its youth farming program in town.
- On Saturday, October 27 from noon to 4 pm, the Montclair Community Farms is holding a Spoon-a-Thon seasonal soup celebration to benefit its new Montclair Historical Society site at 108 Orange Road. Soups and ingredients are being donated by Terra@Isabel Rose Café, Fitzgerald’s, Let’s Spoon, and Montclair Community Food Co-op. The event will include tours of the chicken coop and Crane House, story-reading and music fro all ages!