Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



As the Oregon City Winter Market opens for the season this Saturday at 10 a.m. downtown on Eighth Street, it’s celebrating the explosive growth of a Power of Produce program designed to encourage kids to buy local fresh fruits and veggies.

By filling out and signing a “Passport to Health,” children 5 to 12 get a POP Club button, a reusable drawstring bag and $2 in wooden tokens to spend every time they come to the market.

At this month’s meeting of the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, the board unanimously approved a challenge grant for the nonprofit Oregon City Farmers Market to raise tax-deductible donations to the POP Club. The district committed to match up to a total of $3,000 raised through June 7, 2013.

“I’m really honored that the district recognizes the impact of this program,” said Market Manager Jackie Hammond-Williams.

Network TV chef Jamie Oliver featured an article on his website citing the club as a great example of how to engage children in the foods they consume.

This summer, University of Virginia students flew to Oregon City just to learn how the POP Club functions and have started POPCharlottesville as part of an internship program there.

Since May 5, 1,244 kids enrolled in the club and have made 4,389 shopping trips, spending $8,778 at the market. Many children — 110 to be exact — have come to the market more than 10 times this year.

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