It’s one of my favorite little diners around, and it’s only open once a month.
Young, cheerful faces fill the small kitchen. They are always eager to please and quick to thank their satisfied diners for coming.
It’s the 4-H Family Food Stand at the Webster County Fairgrounds, open every flea market weekend. I’m sure to never miss a flea market and never miss a chance to get a good, hot meal prepared by a group of young people who put their head, hearts, hands and health into serving up a friendly meal.
It’s been a Webster County 4-H tradition since at least the 1970s to operate the stand, according to Linda Cline, county youth coordinator for Iowa State University Extension.
“They get to work with the public and learn about the food service industry,” Cline says.
In true 4-H fashion, the members learn about food preparation and food safety. Kids of all ages — grades 4 through 12 — operate the stand and work together, assisted by their own club leaders and a professional kitchen manager.
“They really learn how to work together and be part of a team,” Cline adds.
Beef burgers are one of my favorites if I happen to be at flea market for lunch, but since we usually arrive with the sun — that’s when the best bargains can be found —I’m usually having breakfast.
Our favorite is the plate of biscuits and gravy, but there are breakfast sandwiches for people on the go and some delicious rolls for a mid-morning snack.
While the food is always hot and good, what I really enjoy is knowing that it’s all going for a good cause. 4-H clubs, which rotate working the stand, earn $100 for their group. The rest goes to help fund the Washington, D.C., Citizenship Trip, which takes place every other year and is next up for the summer of 2014.
Great food and a great cause just go together at the 4-H Family Food Stand.