Foodlink’s inaugural Fall Fest comes as the conclusion of the growing season for the community farm located on Lexington Avenue which serves as a communal garden for residents in local neighborhoods
"The vast majority of farmers who work here are new Americans, people from the refugee community [and] people who have settled in the northwest,” Foodlink chief program officer Mitch Gruber said. “And we want people to really plant roots here, pun intended, and really find themselves to love this neighborhood and love this community.”
And Foodlink hopes that Fall Fest will strengthen the love of community by bringing families together to have fun but also to educate community members on the resources available to them.
“If you just look around and the turnout is awesome. It’s amazing,” said Foodlink ambassador Prophet Joyce Pettway. “It’s just so much information and education right here. And I do believe because we chose this area, that it would outspread to other communities what Foodlink is doing.”
Pettway, who is an ambassador for Foodlink and has family in the Edgerton neighborhood, stresses the importance of supporting communities in need by providing education on healthy living and spreading the word of resources like Foodlink.
"We want to bring it to the community so you are aware, so you’re knowledgeable and you know that in your community these things do exist,” Pettway said. “You just have to know where to go to get it. We have, as you know, in the city broken communities with different homicides. It’s all about togetherness. It’s all about education. It’s all about being knowledgeable and it’s all about love.”
The event included free pumpkins, fall activities and games and an opportunity for community members to receive coupons for Foodlink’s Curbside Market and watch cooking demonstrations led by Foodlink’s Community Health Team.
“Children love paint. They love face painting. And its pumpkin season and harvest time,” Pettway said. “So they’re painting pumpkins’, there painting faces and we’re spreading family love.”
The event left community members feeling the love and the impact.
“So watch out for the next festival,” Pettway said. “It could be coming to your neighborhood soon.”