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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
While getting kids to eat vegetables may be difficult, apparently (when it’s for a good cause, at least) getting kids to cut them is not. That was the case on Saturday morning, when kids and parents from Broadmeadow School gathered for Pare and Share, a vegetable-cutting event sponsored by local businesses.
During Pare and Share, the kids and their parents gathered in the school’s cafeteria, where they sliced various raw vegetables, put them in Ziploc bags, weighed them, and used stickers on poster board to denote how many pounds they’d be donating to local charities. This year, the vegetables were destined for the Women’s Lunch Place and the Needham Community Council’s Food Pantry.
“Pare and Share is an event where kids get vegetables, chop them and donate them to a nonprofit or charity,” Mindy Kalish, the co-president of the Parent-Teacher Council, explained. “This year, we have two organizations we’re donating to: the Women’s Lunch Place and the Needham Community Council, so two great organizations we’re really proud to help out. We don’t cook them, but the Women’s Lunch Place does a great job - they have a wonderful chef that creates these amazing masterpieces with the vegetables we donate.”
As far as preventing possible injuries to the kids, outside of having their parents present, there were a few tricks the organizers had up their sleeves. They purchased a couple plastic safety knives for the younger kids and tried to steer the older kids toward more difficult vegetables, like bell peppers. The younger kids, meanwhile, were encouraged to work on the easier-to-cut vegetables, like green beans.
But make no mistake: it was the kids who were doing the majority of the cutting. Even those too small to put the sticker on the poster (one girl had to climb the railing to reach it) were doing their part, which Kaling explained is a huge part of the event.
“We love this event because it shows that little hands make a big difference in the world, which is the main mission of the outreach program at Broadmeadow: to show we can help out, and little kids can do just as much as adults.”
While the goal of the day was to chop 1,000 pounds of vegetables, the kids were also creating compost. In the past, the vegetable waste was simply thrown out, but now, each table has a bucket, the contents of which will be composted to teach kids to help the environment, as well.
In some towns, children’s vegetable donations involve the family dog and a flick off the dinner table. But on Saturday, the kids of the Broadmeadow School gathered to slice, dice and donate vegetables to a pair of deserving charities instead.