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Eat fresh: Hurley Elementary students get to ‘buy’ fresh fruits and vegetables

By Maggie Blackwell
For the Salisbury Post

It was hard to tell who was more excited about the Farmers’ Market Day at Hurley Elementary School, the students or the Aldi staff who hosted it.

The event was the brainchild of Aldi District Manager Brian Harris. “We want to focus on healthy options for kids,” he said. “We want to be sure kids have a healthy and active lifestyle. In addition to focusing on the bottom line, we want to make the world a better place.”

Aldi was involved in a similar event in Chapel Hill, he said, but as a participant, not as a host. He took that event and developed it for Hurley Elementary.

Aldi brought in about 300 pounds of fruits and vegetables for the event. They gave each second grade student “play money” and Aldi bag. Students perused the fruits and vegetables and “bought” them with their “money” to take home.

About 25 Aldi employees participated in the event, most dressed as fruits, vegetables or cows. Their excitement level was high as they set up the attractive displays and fussed over costumes.

Outside were stations for students to learn about plants, dairy and soil.

Mary Meyer is a RSS employee who works at Horizons Unlimited. “The purpose,” she said, “is to teach kids about fruits and vegetables. We’re touching on what organic means. They’ll learn that milk comes from cows and goes from the farm all the way to the store. They’ll learn about pollen and photosynthesis.”

As students streamed into the gym to “buy” their fruits and vegetables, second grade teacher Natacha Lewis said, “Our kids are so excited. Lots of them can’t experience vegetables at the store because they’re so expensive. Also, they have their own ‘money’ today. It’s a big day.”

Harris said Aldi plans to continue similar events in the future. They’re also sponsoring an Angel Tree at Hanford Dole Elementary School in December.

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