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Meet the Artist: Wais Ali

Posted January 19, 2018

Meet Wais! Pike Place artist Wais Ali first became interested in visual arts while growing up in Djibouti, his home country in East Africa. Now a Seattleite, Wais has been selling original acrylic paintings and prints in the Market since 2015. Stop by his table in the North Arcade and meet the artist behind these stunning paintings!

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For 40 years, the Pike Market Senior Center (PMSC) has served low-income and homeless seniors in the immediate downtown Seattle area. PMSC provides a safe place for seniors (55 years and older) to participate in activities such as yoga, dancing, acupuncture, receive assistance with housing and social security, and perhaps the most important thing of all - a place to eat two meals a day. Behind the scenes planning activities, scheduling wellness services and cooking meals is a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.

Feeding approximately 200 seniors daily is no easy feat, especially when 90% of food needs are reliant on donations! Brenda Neuweiler, senior nutrition program manager and chef, plans and cooks meals based on weekly donations that not only taste good but meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). The Senior Center serves breakfast and lunch daily, which means that if a senior eats both meals at the center they will have received ⅔ of RDA for the day. Neuweiler has only been at the center for 2 years, but says, “I realized the needs within this demographic and immediately knew that through my cooking I could bring positive change and was confident that I could elevate the food being served. I couldn’t be more pleased with the staff and how we’re able to make such a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Running and operating a senior center takes money, and while about 75% of the funding comes from Pike Place Market Foundation grants and city contracts, there’s still a 25% funding gap that needs to be filled. That's where Mason Lowe comes in. Lowe is PMSC's grant writer and bookkeeper, and has been with the organization for the past 8 years. “I love it," said Lowe about working with seniors. "Everyone here has had a really interesting life. Anytime I’ve been able to sit down and have a one-on-one, I leave blown away.”

(Brenda Neuweiler and Mason Lowe, PMSC staff)

Located under the famous Public Market Center sign and clock and down the hallway from the infamous Gum Wall is a place where passion and commitment ensures the wellbeing of some of the most important and vulnerable people in our community. To learn more about PMSC and how you can volunteer and donate, visit pikemarketseniorcenter.org.
 

Produce Spotlight: Winter Citrus

Posted January 5, 2018

Did you know that, in addition to our many farmer stands, Pike Place Market has seven independent produce highstalls? (Highstalls are named for their elaborate displays of sumptuous fruits and vegetables that were traditionally built higher up from the floor than the metal tables used by farmers.) Each of these businesses provide a large selection of fresh, high-quality and seasonal fruit and vegetables—both locally grown and from around the world. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy delicious and vitamin C-rich citrus!   

Fun fact: Before they can be considered a true heirloom variety, navel oranges need to have seed strains dating back at least 25 years!

For this spotlight, we talked to Jodi at Manzo Brothers, where she’s worked for the past 27 years. Want help deciding between a satsuma or a sumo mandarin? Can you really eat the skin of a kumquat? Jodi is your gal! Here are her takes on the best citrus and various uses for each of them.

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