Inaugural Farmers & Friends Family Picnic Fundraiser to Benefit Norwalk Foodshed Initiative at Stepping Stones

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Stepping Stones harvests healthy habits for children.

Nothing says summer like a family picnic with tasty food, sensational sunshine, and outdoor games! From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 14, Stepping Stones Museum for Children is hosting its first ever Farmers and Friends Family Picnic, packed with a basketful of games and activities. Bring the whole family for a fun-filled, outdoor extravaganza and learn how easy and delicious it can be to make healthy choices and eat locally sourced foods. "Lettuce" teach how to maintain a nutritious, balanced diet with healthy foods grown close to home.

During the picnic, which will be held in the Gullquist Family Celebration Courtyard, the award-winning children’s museum will host its very own farmer’s market featuring vendors with samples from local restaurants, farms, and stores. There will also be live music from The String Fingers Band, magician Danny Diamond, face painting, a catered lunch by Palmer's Market with a special lunch for kids that comes with a fun surprise, and so much more!

Families are also invited to explore the museum, mingle with food and garden experts, go on a tour of the museum’s Edible Garden, learn about worm farms, and discover which vegetables grow best in Connecticut. Attendees will leave this event with their bellies full and their thumbs green!

Tickets are available at http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/picnic and include museum admission for the day. Adult tickets are $40 for members and $45 for non-members. Tickets for children under 18 are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Space is limited, so advanced registration is highly encouraged.

Proceeds from the Farmers and Friends Family Picnic will support the Norwalk Foodshed Initiative at Stepping Stones. The Foodshed Initiative supports equal access to fresh and healthy foods, nutrition and wellness education, and sustainability in the greater Norwalk area. Stepping Stones has gathered many organizations, from grocery stores to food pantries, to coordinate efforts to support residents, schools, and businesses by making nutritious food affordable and reducing waste.

"At Stepping Stones, our commitment to healthy eating, literally, starts from the ground up," said William E. Jeffries, III, director of Strategic Initiatives at Stepping Stones. "We have an Edible Garden and herb garden onsite and some of the items grown and harvested there are used to prepare items in our Healthyville® Cafe. We work every day to implement the principles of nutrition into our exhibits, educational experiences, and even with the food options available for sale in our Cafe. The Foodshed concept is part of the museum’s expansion of our long-standing Healthy Children, Healthy Communities® initiative, which introduces and promotes key health messages to children now because we know that these early experiences help shape their lifelong habits and views on health and well-being. Picnic proceeds will help us expand upon this important work and fund some internal improvements to museum spaces like the aforementioned gardens, Cafe, and other program areas to give us the capacity to do so much more. Ultimately, Stepping Stones looks to reach all young members of our community and their families with important lessons about how to make positive and sustainable choices about their nutrition."

Vendors are invited to share samples of local food and organic goods at a small farmer’s market in our Celebration Courtyard. All products must be approved in advance and any vendors selling merchandise must also provide free samples. There are still a few tables available in this farmer’s market.

Providing important sponsorship support for the Farmers and Friends Family Picnic are Norwalk Hospital’s Whittingham Cancer Walk & Run; Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennessey LLP; Choice Pet; Copps Island Oyster; Diserio, Martin, O’Connor & Castiglioni LLP; and Redniss & Mead, with additional support from Nestlé Waters North America and Subway. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available.

For information about tickets, event sponsorship, and/or vendor table prices, which will include the health department permit fee, please contact Linda McDonals at (203) 899-0606, ext. 246 or visit http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/picnic.

ABOUT STEPPING STONES MUSEUM FOR CHILDREN
Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT, is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501(c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, or to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental, call 203-899-0606 or visit http://www.steppingstones.org.

Stepping Stones is located at 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT, exit 14 North and 15 South off I-95. Museum hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday and select holiday Mondays from Labor Day through Memorial Day. Admission is $15 for adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free. Get social with Stepping Stones on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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Alisa Picerno
CNG / Stepping Stones Childrens Museum
(860) 217-0595
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