Chris Sullivan, an English Language Learner teacher at Sacramento Elementary School in the Parkrose School District, has created the Sacrament Market for all Sacramento families.

Every Friday afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m. the market is set up in a breeze way outside his second grade classroom. Sacramento families are encouraged to bring an empty grocery bag to the school, 11400 N.E. Sacramento St., and fill it with free fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grain bread.

While picking up her grandson Timmy after school, Kareny Phomauhanh, with granddaughter Lyla, picks up fresh vegetables from Sacramento Market for tonight’s dinner.

Sullivan said he decided to organize this market “because I believe our families should have access to nutritious food. Regardless of income, our kids will now get a week’s worth of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grain bread each Friday. This is a necessary service as it is now cheaper to buy a double cheeseburger than a head of lettuce.”

The fresh produce is provided each week by Urban Gleaners, a non-profit dedicated to delivering nutritious food to schools at no cost. They collect from Whole Foods, Zupan’s and local farmer’s markets and farms. Dave’s Killer Bread is adding 40 loaves of fresh bread each week. Both deliver to Sullivan’s classroom each Friday.

Students will help set up the market each week and create posters and other advertising. Sullivan hopes all Sacramento families will feel welcome and come by with grocery bags to fill each and every week.

Parkrose School District Superintendent Karen Fischer Gray threw her support behind this project by adding, “I think that if there is any way we can help our families to make ends meet and get healthy food to our kids, we should do it. Chris Sullivan is a teacher with a heart of gold. He is always thinking of ways to help the students and families at Sacramento.”

Last year, he held a very successful food and clothing drive there. Chris is currently working with Schools Uniting Neighborhoods Coordinator Helen Vank at Shaver Elementary School, to bring about more ways to feed our families in need. Shaver has a highly successful food pantry each Wednesday for families to get healthy food. It’s such a Parkrose thing to do!”

Sullivan is also one of the organizers of the inaugural Parkrose Community Thanksgiving dinner last year. He reports that plans are underway for another free feast with all the traditional components this Thanksgiving. Watch for updates in the next issue of the Memo.