If you were shopping for a safe car seat, the Tri-County Community Action Agency headquarters at 1126 Hartford Ave. was the place to be Saturday.
Moreover, if people were seeking information about free meals for those under age 18, breast feeding support or even WIC checks and SNAP benefits, the highly-successful and award-winning non-profit’s Johnston facility featured a wide variety of offerings during its first-ever farmers market.
People of all ages – including Alessandra McLynch, 2-month old daughter of Michael McLynch and Jennifer Dela Cruz – were “extremely impressed” with Tri-Town’s presentation in the parking lot at 1126 and 1130 Hartford Ave. on Saturday.
For McLynch and Dela Cruz, the farmers market was the perfect spot for the couple to learn about Seats 4 Safety Program, which is a special service provided by Hasbro Children’s Hospital and sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts.
Staffed by Dina Burstein, a research scientist from Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and program assistant Leah Kiernan, the Seats 4 Safety program proved to be valuable for McLynch, Dela Cruz and a number of people who visited the traveling information booth.
The Seats 4 Safety Program raises awareness of injury prevention, educating community members through presentations and interactive activities on various injury prevention topics. The program also provides a free safety check for baby car seats.
SafeKIDS Rhode Island also hosts education and presentations on child passenger safety and provides car seat checks and installation guidance.
However, Tri-County’s first-ever farmers market wasn’t all about education.
One of the most popular services was face painting, provided by Julissa Garo of Tri-County’s Head Start, which 7-year-old Hannah Jackson enjoyed tremendously under one of the many canopy-covered booths.
Nayeema Eusuf from Geek Gardens in Western Cranston has what Tri-County WIC program director and registered dietitian Casey Ellen Sardo called a “beautiful bounty of fresh vegetables available.
“We also had a great turnout for the car seat safety check also helped 25 families,” Sardo added. “The kids in attendance really enjoyed the face painting that was provided by our WIC staff. Also, our WIC office was open to enroll new clients and provide appointments for our current clients.”
When asked to assess Tri-County’s first-ever farmers market, Sardo said: “This was the first time we attempted an event like this and overall we believe it was a success. We hope next year we will be able to have more farmers and more resources that benefit families in or communities.”