GVSU Farmer’s Market hosts Summer Grill Challenge

GVL / Courtesy - Sarah Lord at the Childrens enrichment center

GVL / Courtesy – Sarah Lord at the Children’s enrichment center

HEAD: GVSU Farmer’s Market hosts Summer Grill Challenge

BY: Samantha Elliott-Mosley

Although many students head home for the summer, the Grand Valley State University Campus stays alive and busy now that it’s 2016 Farmer’s Market is officially underway. 

The market serves as part of GVSU’s Health and Wellness initiative bringing healthy choices closer to students and the local community.

Officially open on June 6, the market hosted a day filled with warm weather, hot grills and a little friendly competition for their 2016 Summer Grill Challenge.

President Tom Haas and Marcia Haas, along with Andy Beachnau, the associate vice provost participated in this challenge, each creating a dish for market goers to sample and vote for a favorite.

Haas and his wife Marcia made a “slow cooked chuck roast” recipe that has been in their family for years, something their kids love and market goers seemed to enjoy just as much.

The winning dish was a spinach and barley salad with grilled pork, but when Haas was asked the results of the Grill Challenge, he said: “Everyone won.”

About 152 lunches were sold during the event with a total of $912 raised in donations. The funds were split equally between the two campus organizations, the Children’s Enrichment Center and the Student Food Pantry.

Sarah Lord, program administrative Lead Teacher at GVSU Children’s Enrichment Center, called the Grill Challenge a fun event acting as less of a competition and more of a get together for students, faculty and the community.

“We’re a non-profit, so we’re always looking for creative ways to raise funds,” Lord said. “Families donate materials too, but the grill challenge donations went to enriching the lives of the kids – daily equipment like chalk, bubbles and sprinklers.”

Donations also help the Children’s Enrichment Center to fund the Big and Little Lakers field trips. A few weeks after the grill challenge, Lord said the center was able to take a trip to the Farmer’s Market where they learned about local produce, and spent a day in the sun with their very own balloon animals.

The GVSU Farmer’s Market is open Wednesdays on June 1 through Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. located in parking lot G. 

Vendors at the market for the 2016 season are to sell anything from vibrant produce brought from local farms to homemade soaps and baked goods, among many other local items.

Kay Hart, Human Resources GVSU Farmers Market manager, said the Grill Challenge is one of the larger events at the market this summer, but there are other great things happening throughout the market season. 

One thing Hart was particularly excited about was Student Appreciation week, the first market in September, where there will be giveaways and activities for students.

Additionally, there are free weekly activities through the market season for students to attend. These include: Cooking demos between noon and 1 p.m., 5-minute massages and bike tune-ups.

Students can reserve a spot at www.gvsu.edu/sprout.