As the holiday season approaches at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, Stuart Perry has taken time to reflect on the changing needs of his program and its peers. Such changes include the need to ensure that peers receive hearty, hot meals as part of their winter menus at the Perry Wellness Center cafeteria.
“Each day, I can see the increase in needs of our peers and those who need increased help to live,” Stuart explains. “Thankfully, we had a great spring and summer market at Rudy’s Happy Patch. I was able to schedule the sometimes over-buy of fresh products to allow us to plan our winter menus.”
Six days each week, both breakfast and lunch are provided to attending peers. Breakfast is usually a protein-filled meal of eggs, toast and sometimes breakfast meat. Lunch offers variety, with the creation of new recipes, so that choices do not become routine.
“I am impressed with the variety of our lunches,” Stuart notes. “The way our culinary staff can ‘dress up’ chicken and pork is wonderful. The cooking of our abundance of peas, tomatoes, butterbeans, and other blanched and frozen vegetables is a tribute to our staff.” Adds Stuart, “I am on a diet, but these meals look very tempting!”
As fresh market provisions decrease at the market, plans are to provide primarily year-round tomatoes and holiday flowers during the seasonal lull. The decision is strategic: “I have discussed with my staff and peer leadership about the preparation of our market and greenhouses for the coming spring and summer,” Stuart says. “This would be the right choice, and it will save money if we do our own hanging baskets and plants for the next year.” By planning ahead, Stuart believes that he will be able to offer better spring and summer selections to customers as well as use his resources more efficiently throughout the entire year.
Although the market will not offer a full variety of vegetables this winter and may be open fewer hours, customers are encouraged to check on the availability of such winter produce as turnips, collards, cabbage, and shelled pecans.
In the photo above, Mr. Willie Pryor displays the abundance of spring and summer produce at the market. Although displays will not be as colorful, winter produce and vegetables will soon be in place.