THUNDER BAY — A farm table dinner is being hosted this weekend exclusively using as many local products as they can.
The Belluz Farm Hall Dinner will be filling the halls of Goods aand Co. Market on Saturday. Large tables will be set up for those to enjoy a five-course locally crafted meal with friends, family and maybe even making some new friends.
Many other store operators within the market are participating by featuring goods during each course. There will be fresh produce from Belluz Farms — yes, that means strawberries —, appetizers from Growing Season, fresh pasta from The Pasta Shoppe, and yummy treats from both Uncommon Baked Goods and Superior Bakes and others.
Jodi Belluz, a co-partner at Belluz Farms with her husband Kevin, is excited to bring the event into an urban setting, in previous years the dinner was held at the family farm.
"The stronger your local food scene, the more resilient you're as a community in terms of your food production," Belluz said.
The dinner is also to educate the community about The Gleaning Program which is a joint venture with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit . The program is back after its three-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic and will run as part of Healthy Kids Thunder Bay with the health unit.
Gleaning is when leftover and extra product is collected from the crops after the main harvest. Its partnership with the health unit will be for children identified through Health Kids that could benefit from the food and a trip a farm setting.
"The Gleaning Program brings people out to the farm and gets our produce into the hands of those who can really use it, often facing barriers to access fresh food, " Belluz said.
Health unit public health nutritionist Kim McGibbon said in previous years there would be six to eight trips to local farms a season with approximately 25 people per trip.
McGibbon is excited to get the program back up and running, with the Belluz Farm Hall Dinner to help fundraise for transportation costs. She said the cost of bus trips has almost doubled since 2019.
The Gleaning Program is not open to the public, but families will be identified through the Healthy Kids program, McGibbon added.
Tickets for the Belluz Farm Hall Dinner can be purchased here.