Baseball and vegetables have long been a combination to help keep children active and healthy, but never quite like this before.
The Minnesota Twins Community Fund has partnered with Roots for the Home Team to bring fresh produce grown by youth from ethnically diverse areas of the Twin Cities to Target Field.
The produce will be used to create a variety of unique salads that will be sold at the new Garden Goodies cart, located near the Gate 34 entrance, on Sunday afternoon games for the rest of the season.
"We're proud to partner with Roots for the Home Team as they share our common commitment to supporting healthy children and families," said Kevin Merkle, chairman of the Twins Community Fund's board of directors. "Children's health is a national issue. We believe this groundbreaking program is a tremendous way toward helping improve it."
Roots for the Home Team works with local youth garden programs Eastside Garden Corps: Community Design Center of Minnesota, Emerge Community Development and the Youth Farm and Market Project to further the vital work they do to help shape kids' lives and livelihoods.
"We all want to build healthy kids, families and communities," said Tamara Downs Schwei, executive director of Community Design Center. "Food is an important tool to help us get there."
The program was conceived by registered dietitian Susan Moores. It supports inner-city communities' access to more fresh produce while building self-esteem, leadership skills and business knowledge for participating youth.
"Kids will eat vegetables and salads -- it's all in the delivery and experience," said Moores. "We have lots of flavorful foods at the cart that can burst through any veggie aversion out there."
The salads will be a crisp, crunchy twist from the more traditional ballpark food and will feature flavors that include Silas' Fiesta, Oishii Asian Chopped, Bryan & Ly's Epic Quinoa, Super Soba Citrus and Couscous-A-Licious. The Garden Goodies food cart will be located near the Gate 34 entrance during Twins games on May 27, June 10, June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, Aug. 12, Sept. 9, Sept. 16 and Sept. 30.
The program is sponsored by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Minnesota, Just BARE Chicken, Land O' Lakes and the Minnesota Twins Community Fund.
Keith Beise is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.