On Wednesday, Kathleen Merrigan, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and manager of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food effort, paid a special visit to PSFN/NABC projects. Deputy Secretary Merrigan (who made the trip up to Seattle from Portland just for us!) chose to visit Central Area Senior Center (where she was joined by Seattle Mayor, Mike McGinn!) to show her support for PSFN’s Farm to Table involvement. Deputy Secretary Merrigan then met with PSFN/NABC-affiliated local producers at Central Market in Shoreline, where she toured and sampled their high-quality products. See the full photo album on our Facebook page!
The day began with the first F2T delivery to Central Area Senior Center (the first Senior Services site to receive a F2T delivery!). Kia Armstrong, Manager of Nash’s Organic Produce in Sequim, WA, personally delivered cabbage, parsnips, and triticale flour to Senior Services’ Chef and Nutrition Site Coordinator, Anthony Herts.
Seattle Mayor, Mike McGinn, and Deputy Secretary Merrigan both spoke on the importance of local food connections and praised PSFN’s work on our Farm to Table project which connects produce from local farms with senior meal programs.
Deputy Secretary Merrigan with members of the CPPW Farm to Table Partnership. From left: Karen Mauden, PSFN Farm to Table Coordinator; Charlie Thomas (Senior Services); Emma Brewster, PSFN Farm to Community Coordinator; Deputy Secretary Merrigan; Maria Langlais, Farm to Table Project Manager (Aging and Disability Services); Lucy Norris, PSFN Project Manager; Tricia Sexton-Kovacs (WSDA Farm to School Program).
After a delicious lunch, Deputy Secretary Merrigan and her staff joined local producers and NABC staff at Central Market in Shoreline. Producers had an opportunity to introduce Ms. Merrigan to their products featured at Central Market.
Deputy Secretary Merrigan and local producers set up camp in the produce department at Central Market, where Merrigan fielded questions and listened to producers’ concerns.
What a fantastic day! Thank you, Deputy Secretary Merrigan and staff! Special thanks to Central Area Senior Center Chef and Nutrition Site Coordinator, Anthony Herts for hosting us and preparing such a lovely lunchtime meal. Thanks also to Charlie Thomas, Program Manager of Community Dining for Senior Services, and Cynthia Andrews, Director of the Central Area Senior Center and her wonderful staff, volunteers, and meal attendees. A final thanks to Central Market-Shoreline for hosting us and for featuring so many quality local products on your shelves.