When Juju Harris — the current culinary educator and SNAP outreach coordinator for the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture — was a mother providing for six children on her husband’s limited paycheck and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) items, she no doubt had to get creative to make sure her family was eating healthy.
The self-proclaimed nature lover started her own garden, took her WIC products and made it happen. That meant using fresh vegetables and WIC staples like oatmeal to bake a healthier bread option. That meant learning how to grow, cook and eat produce not usually found in her neighborhood stores. And now, Harris is sharing that knowledge with mothers in the same predicament through her cookbook — The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook — and by visiting some of Washington D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods in a mobile farmer’s market to spread the knowledge and fulfill a larger goal of creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the nation’s capitol.
For her efforts in combating both food insecurities and food deserts, Harris is being recognized by Carmax’s The Bright Side as an innovator and savior in her space.
From the BrightSideShorts.com:
Understanding the importance of nutrition, the former Peace Corp member set out to encourage families to work towards healthy options, teaching mothers how to cook with the familiar – apples, lettuce and items provided to them by WIC – and the unfamiliar – Swiss chard, squash and other unprocessed foods.
Her cookbook, The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook, is available for free to shoppers who frequent the Mobile Market. Before releasing her guide to a healthy lifestyle, the homegrown hero also established a women’s nutrition and financial development program as an Agricultural Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay.
To learn more about Harris’ efforts and the Arcadia Mobile Market, click here.