The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Slow Food chapter ran a table that catered to children at the Celebrate South Madison festival Saturday in an effort to promote locally grown food and healthy eating to children who live in the south Madison area.
An annual south Madison tradition since 2009, the Celebrate South Madison festival’s purpose is to promote the cultures and food that exist in South Madison to the rest of the Madison area, according to Slow Food UW Co-Director Cara Ladd.
“It’s a really good way to connect with a neighborhood in the backyard of campus,” Ladd said.
Celebrate South Madison is located in the grassy area by Planned Parenthood on South Park Street where the South Madison Farmer’s Market is held every Sunday through Friday afternoon from May to October.
According to UW Slow Food Co-Director Tori Law, the festival is about “sharing, community and getting to know different parts of Madison and supporting a different area.”
“As students we are isolated on campus and don’t see the surrounding areas [of Madison],” Law said.
Law helped children at the festival create their own “Rainbow Veggie Wraps,” a vegetable snack wrap consisting of farmer’s market vegetables and locally sourced tortillas.
Law said Slow Food UW’s tabling efforts were successful because the organization excited children about eating healthy and children did not hesitate to come back for more veggie wraps.
According to Ladd, part of Slow Food UW’s mission is to erase the stigma that south Madison is a ‘”food desert,” or an area with few grocery stores nearby.
“We are trying to get people down there involved in where their food comes from,” Ladd said.
Slow Food UW holds several programs in south Madison such as hosting cooking nights and practicing garden maintenance with the Boys and Girls club each week.