SEARCY It may not seem like farmers markets and hospitals have a lot in common, but Unity Health and Main Street Searcy are working together toward one goal: health for the city of Searcy.
In an effort to reach that goal, the two entities will host the Farm to Table Pop-Up Restaurant from 5-8 p.m. July 12.
“This is something we’ve been talking about for a while,” said Brooke Pryor, marketing director at Unity Health. “Our slogan is ‘Unity Health — health-centered.’ We’ve got so many amazing professionals taking care of patients in the hospital and clinics, but we want to get out of those walls, too.”
Pryor said locally raised food is one part of a healthy lifestyle, but many people feel it is an unattainable goal to find, purchase and consume local ingredients.
“The perception can be that it’s not easy to get fresh produce that is locally grown, or that it’s too expensive,” she said.
The Farm to Table Pop-Up Restaurant will offer an opportunity for people to eat a tasty meal made with as much local produce, meat and cheeses as possible, then visit with and shop from the vendors who provided the ingredients for the meal.
“People will be able to browse and shop,” Pryor said. “They could go outside and buy most of the same things they had just eaten and go home and make the same meal if they wanted.”
In addition to a meal and a farmers market, Farm to Table will include live music, provided by Anna Brinker, and some family fun.
“You get a full meal, activities for the kids, live music and a farmers market,” said Amy Burton, executive director of Main Street Searcy.
Main Street Searcy runs the Searcy Certified Farmers’ Market, and Farm to Table will feature several local growers and vendors. Burrito Day will take those locally sourced ingredients to prepare a meal of street tacos, seasoned corn, savory black beans, fresh pico de gallo, and infused drinks and desserts.
“We are going to use things that have been grown or made locally as much as possible,” Burton said, “even down to the fruits and vegetables and herbs that we’re using to infuse the tea and lemonade and water.”
The partnership between Unity Health and Main Street Searcy — by way of the Searcy Certified Farmers’ Market — is a natural one for this event, both Burton and Pryor said.
“We’re just looking to put this event out there for the community to promote the farmers market and promote the mission of Unity Health,” Burton said.
The mission of Unity Health is more than the health and medicine administered at the hospital and in clinics, Pryor said.
“[This event] is something fun to do and a reason to get downtown, but from the hospital’s perspective, it’s so much more than that,” she said. “Our man purpose is education. This is thinking outside the hospital bed and getting in the community to show them how to have an awesome, flavorful meal that’s all locally sourced.”
The event will take place at the Robbins Sanford Grand Hall, 118 N. Spring St. in Searcy. Tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for children 12 and younger and can be purchased at Burrito Day Cafe, Main Street Searcy, the Searcy Certified Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and at Unity-Health.org. Limited tickets will be available at the door.
Funds raised by ticket sales will go directly to pay for the event and will not be used for anything else, organizers said.
For more information, call Main Street Searcy at (501) 279-9007 or visit the farmers market’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/SearcyFarmersMarket.