The Woodstock Farmers Market will showcase food products offered by their vendors when they host a farm-to-table dinner, 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at Mia Passione, 228 Main St. All proceeds from the ticket cost of $50 per person will benefit the market’s Link assistance program.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. with an authentic family style Italian dinner served at 7 p.m. The menu will include spaghetti and meatballs, one of Mia Passione owner Mike Palmieri’s specialties. There also will be a chicken dish, salad, cheese tray and dessert.
“Ninety percent of the food served that night will be from local farms… . Everything but the pasta,” Palmieri said. “This will be a very unique event.”
Palmieri is no stranger to supporting the community through charitable events. He recently hosted a fundraiser for hurricane victims and also is very involved with Operation North Pole.
“I’m happy to do this,” he said.
Diners will be entertained with a performance by The Choirboys, a talented trio of musicians who will perform classic songs from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. The childhood friends, all former choir boys from Chicago, will donate their performance to the benefit.
Woodstock Farmers Market Manager Keith Johnson said the idea for the farm-to-table dinner came from one of the musicians who performed at the market.
“The event serves a dual purpose,” said Johnson. “It exposes some of our vendors and it also supports a good cause.”
Johnson will speak briefly at the dinner about the significance of Woodstock Farmers Market as a self-run producer market led by the vendors. He’ll share where the products featured in the dinner come from and talk about the Link program the dinner is supporting.
Formerly called food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, helps low-income people and families buy food. Benefits for residents of Illinois are provided on the Illinois Link Card, an electronic card that is accepted at most grocery stores.
The Woodstock Farmers Market is registered to accept Link cards, and through grants and fundraisers, the market offers matching funds for Link cardholders. Currently, the market matches up to $25 for customers using Link cards. Proceeds from dinner will help the Woodstock Farmers Market continue the outreach program, making local fresh food and produce available and affordable to low-income families and benefitting the producers as well.
“It’s a good goal,” Johnson said.