June 2016 Newsletter

Jun 1, 2016 by

June 2016 Newsletter

Things are humming right along in the local food world!

The LEAP Mobile Market has hit the road and the customers are loving this convenient and affordable way to buy healthy food. The Grandin Village and West End Community Markets are swinging into high gear for the peak season– the region’s best farmers and food producers have amazing fruits, vegetables, plant starts, breads, meats, eggs, drinks and treats just for you!.

As you know, The Kitchen is now open! We are accepting applications and ready for food businesses to be part of this great local food community! Do you have aspirations of opening your own food business? Do you know someone who does? Contact sam@leapforlocalfood.org/leap for a tour of the space and to find out how LEAP can help you start the food business of your dreams!

Roanoke is one of 50 cities selected for Invest Health, a competitive grant through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Reinvestment Fund. Alongside other community leaders in Roanoke, LEAP Executive Director Maureen McNamara Best will participate in this national effort to improve the health of our great community. Check out this news release to learn more!
Fresh Foods Rx will start in June, LEAP is seeking volunteersHealthy Roanoke Valley and LEAP are entering year two of Fresh Foods Rx, an innovative healthy lifestyle program dedicated to helping participants curb their diabetes. Last year, we served 12 participants at Carilion Clinic Family Medicine SE. This year, we’re expanding to 20 patients each at site: Carilion Family Medicine SE, Carilion Clinic Roanoke-Salem, and New Horizons Healthcare. Funding for Fresh Foods Rx is provided in part by Carilion Clinic.

LEAP is so excited to be involved with Fresh Foods Rx– the LEAP Mobile Market sets up shop at each program site and we provide the fruits and vegetables that the doctors are “prescribe” for the participants. In order to be even more successful, LEAP is looking for a volunteer to help participants as they shop–  what are the fruits and vegetables, how to tell if something is ripe, and tips for how store and prepare the produce.  The volunteer time commitment would be 30-45 minutes once a week, starting in mid-June and lasting 16 weeks. We are especially looking for help on Thursdays, from 5:00-5:30. If you’re interested, you can contact info@leapforlocalfood.org/leap.

It’s asparagus season in the Roanoke Valley. To complement these succulent spears, here’s a beautiful spring pasta dish. Many of the ingredients can be found at LEAP markets this week!

Spring Greens, Asparagus, and Ricotta Pasta
Recipe courtesy of Foodie Crush
Serves 4
  • 1 pound spinach farfalle or penne pasta
  • ½ pound asparagus spears, blanched and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup peas, blanched or thawed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, blanched and drained of all water
  • 1 cup ricotta fresca
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup mint leaves, shredded
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper


  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to warm pan. Add asparagus, peas, spinach and mint.
  2. In a small bowl mix olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest until well blended. Add to pasta and vegetables and combine. Garnish with ricotta fresca, parmesan and almonds and top with kosher salt and cracked pepper.

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