Fueling minds and bodies: The Power of Produce

High Point children hold books and look at produce

By Stephanie Skordas, Director of Communications

High Point children enrolled in the Power of Produce (PoP) club come running when the High Point Public Library bookmobile rolls up to their neighborhood. Each time they visit, they get an activity and tokens to spend at the Growing High Point “Growdega.” Thanks to a generous donation from the High Point Community Foundation, they also receive a book to add to their home libraries courtesy of Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) and The Basics Guilford.

“We’ve donated 600 books to this initiative, and paired the book themes to fruits, vegetables, and healthy eating,” said Ready Ready Literacy Coordinator Megan LeFaivre. “We’re excited to help the library and the Growdega to educate children about how they can use great fruits and vegetables to help their bodies grow stronger.”

The High Point Public Library introduced the free children’s program in the summer of 2020 and has made it a year-round event. The bookmobile visits five locations every other week, Tuesday through Friday to share information about upcoming events and the library, books, and activities. Children in the program receive three tokens each visit, which they can use to purchase fresh, organic produce.

“We take vacant lots in the city of High Point and turn them into farms,” said Amanda Mitchell, Growing High Point’s food hub manager. “We team up with the bookmobile so children can purchase fruits and vegetables. We get a lot of questions. Sometimes people ask how do I cook the zucchini or what’s the difference between a turnip and a beet. So we educate children about recipes and what they can do with different items.”

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At Laurelwood Apartments, where we caught up with the bookmobile and Growdega, micro greens and ginger were the items that caught much of the children’s interest.

“The kids really like the theme of fruits and vegetables and connecting them with the books Ready Ready provided and the produce they can buy with their tokens,” said High Point Library Outreach Manager Karen Idol. “We have a pretty consistent turnout from our club members and we can always sign up new ones.”

PoP Club was created by the Oregon City, Oregon farmer’s market in 2011 and has spread to farmer’s markets across the nation.