strawberriesOn Thursday, May 19, New Roots, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide “food-desert” communities with farm-fresh produce at affordable rates, is hosting a strawberry-themed street festival in the Shawnee neighborhood.

It’s an event to help celebrate the beginning of the 2016 Fresh Stop Market season — pop-up produce markets in local food deserts.

This year’s festival will feature an assortment of strawberry-infused dishes, including: chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry salsa and a gluten-free strawberry shortcake with oven-roasted berries. All berries are chemical and pesticide free and grown locally by VanMeter Farms.

Family-friendly entertainment will be on hand throughout the festival, which means face painting, tai chi, performances by the kids from the Academy of Music Production Education and Development (AMPED), storytelling and much more.

“The thing I like most about the Strawberry Festival is that it brings the community together,” said Nathaniel Spencer, a Fresh Stop Market leader. “Each year, New Roots and the Fresh Stop Markets get better and better, attracting more leaders and shareholders and creating enormous social capital — not to mention we get to eat the best berries around.”

The Strawberry Jamm Festival will be held at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, which is the Shawnee neighborhood Fresh Stop Market location, on Thursday, May 19, from 4:30-7 p.m. You’re encouraged to pre-order by calling New Roots at 509-6770, or click here to order online. The berries are $3.50 a pint or $13 for a gallon. WIC participants get half off.