Third annual ‘Westside BBQ and Craft Festival’ teaches nutrition, encourages community growth

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Grilled barbecue, live music and unique crafts is a combination very few will complain about. And all three were served up at the Westside Barbecue and Craft Festival Sunday afternoon.

The event was hosted by Unity Gardens and South Bend’s American Culinary Federation chapter. Their goal: to educate the community on the importance of nutrition, while serving up dishes for all to enjoy.

“Food is community, community is food,” April Howell, president of the South Bend chapter of the American Culinary Federation, said. “That’s what the gardens is all about is food and giving that to the community. As chefs, that’s what we do, we use the food in the garden for the community. So, it’s a great way that we can partner with Sara and with Unity Gardens to share our love of food and just have the community come together.”

The organizers said they’re grateful they get to host this event and work to have a significant impact.

“It’s so much fun to grow community, literally,” Unity Gardens founder Sara Stewart said. “And so, when you look at all the local chefs, we have the people coming out of Ivy Tech or all these local entrepreneurs with their arts and their information or the nonprofits here. It’s amazing what we can do to grow the kind of community we want.”

Part of growing a community means supporting local business, which Sara and April strongly advocate for.

“Come out to the gardens for sure,” Howell said. “I mean, we love the gardens and coming out here. So, definitely come out to the places that we are, of course. Visit your local restaurants. Support our local restauranteurs because it was a struggling time for everybody but we’re really wanting to get everybody in the kitchens again.”

Unity Gardens encourages people to come pick free fruits and vegetables from their garden. They want to showcase different produce and a variety of recipes you can make using them.

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