For a couple of days at least a 2-liter bottle of soda is worth $3 worth of fruits and vegetables at the Vallco Farmers’ Market thanks to a soda exchange program.
On Friday, Sept. 21 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, will host a Soda Exchange at Cupertino’s Friday farmers’ market and on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Hanchett Avenue Farmers’ Market, located at Hanchett Avenue and The Alameda in San Jose.
“We’re doing this event to encourage children to drink water, to put sodas and other sweetened beverages aside. And we’re also doing it to promote these farmers’ markets that are right in our backyards,” says Avo Makdessian, associate director at FIRST 5.
Families who bring in unopened soda cans and bottles will receive in exchange vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ markets.
- 1 can of soda will exchange for a piece of fruit.
- 4 mini cans or 2 full size cans or 1 20-ounce bottle will exchange for a $1 voucher
- 1 1-liter bottle will exchange for a $2 voucher
- 6 regular size cans or 1 2-liter bottle will exchange for a $3 voucher
A maximum of $10 in vouchers will be issued per person.
About 65 pounds of added sugar each year is consumed by children of ages 4 and 5 from sweetened beverages, high-fat desserts and candy, according to a statement from FIRST 5. Soda and other sugary beverages make up the largest consumption of an extra 17 teaspoons of sugar consumed each day by this same age group.
Diet sodas are included in the exchange, Makdessian says, because it is considered a “gateway” to sugary drinks later in life.
And “there are other health issues especially related to children” in diet sodas.