Webb City Farmers Market serves more than 85 free meals to kids - KOAM TV 7

Webb City Farmers Market serves more than 85 free meals to kids during program's first night

On this Tuesday evening, you'll find what's expected at the farmers market: healthy food galore. 

You'll also find something unexpected: kids, eating it up.

"It tastes really good, you know!" said Zack Lee.

Zack, and a bevy of other kids, are taking part in the free kids supper program kicking off at the Webb City Farmers Market, where young ones eat pro bono.  

The inspiration started at the national level, when the USDA announced it's goal this spring to get more kids to eat healthy.

"The federal government was looking for sites where kids could eat fresh local foods," said Eileen Nichols, volunteer manager. "And we have fresh local food here at the market."

Organizers with the Webb City Farmers Market then partnered with Central United Methodist Church to bring the program local.  

Funded by the Missouri Department of Health, there's only one stipulation. Kids just have to be 18 years or younger.  

But there's more than one benefit.

"So kids can have a free healthy meal," said Nichols. "So farmers can sell more good things, and so more folks can come to the market." 

the program is a hit. The first meal, spaghetti with a side of cucumbers, is vanishing... For most.  

"We didn't eat the cucumbers," said Natalie Ryan.

"We snuck zucchini and squash into the spaghetti sauce, so they're getting plenty of their veggies."

the kids say they know how important this is and they'll keep coming back.

"It will help you grow and get stronger," said Terra Keeling.

"And it keeps you from getting sick," said Logan Upton.

But for anyone undecided, Lee guy will sell them.

"Hey look! there's free spaghetti at this place called the farmers market," he said.

The program will continue every Tuesday evening throughout the summer.  

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