Farmer Foodshare Challenge to Erase Child Hunger

Come Out and Help Eleven Triangle Farmers’ Markets Raise Fresh Local Food and “Farm to Family CSA’s” For Children and Families Sept 18-22

Local Farmers Markets and nonprofit Farmer Foodshare challenge the Triangle community to combat child hunger by coming out to local farmers markets to raise local fresh food donations, and help launch the “Farm to Family CSA” program. One hundred percent of all donations purchase fresh food from NC family farms for hunger agencies serving families.

“Child hunger is hidden in plain view,” said Jonathan Bloom, Farmer Foodshare Donation Station Program Manager. “In North Carolina, 1 of 4 children doesn’t get enough to eat. Just in our region of the state, 180,000 kids don’t have enough food. Even sadder, North Carolina’s hunger rate for children under 5 is the worst in the nation. And an even larger number of young people don’t get enough nutritious, fresh food. The Farmer Foodshare Challenge aims to change that.”

Sept. 18-22, Farmer Foodshare volunteers will be out en masse at farmers’ markets across the Triangle to maximize donations and shed light on this issue and how NC agriculture and local farms can help solve it. Community members are being asked to come to the market, donate food, or cash food and Farmer Foodshare will ensure it gets to community agencies serving fresh food to local families and children.

Emphasizing the kids and “sharing the bounty” theme, many markets will have children’s art activities, music and more fun for young folks at participating markets.

Farm to Family Community Supported Agriculture (CSA):

Shoppers can help launch the new “Farm to Family CSA” program by providing donations to sponsor all or part of a weekly box of fresh food from a farm to a family in crisis.

Every week, Farmer Foodshare Donation Stations at farmers market aims to combat urgent and nutrient hunger while supporting local farmers. Farmer Foodshare harnesses shopper donations to purchase food from farmers. That food is augmented by donations from farmers and then collected at market by local hunger relief agency partners.

Food pantries are extremely important to the services net. However, sometimes more targeted help is needed. At-risk children and families may not be able to access food pantries due to scheduling challenges, or have urgent or medical needs, such as a medical prescription, that requires weekly fresh food. Through the Farmer Foodshare Challenge, Farmer Foodshare will purchase as many Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares as possible to get nutritious, local food to hungry kids and their families, providing another option for partner agencies to better serve their clients. CSA’s range in price from $300 to $500 for several months of delicious fresh food. CSA’s help farmers because they allow a farmer to plan what to grow and to be assured of income in response to seeds and other upfront growing costs. Donors can provide all or part of a CSA, and can earmark a donation for a particular farm or agency.

Hidden in Plain View: Voices of Families Facing Hunger

To help bring this issue to the forefront, Farmer Foodshare has commissioned interviews with struggling families to highlight the often-invisible issue of child hunger and the lengths families go to in order to try to put food on the table for their children.

Full stories will be posted here next week, but these quotes give a sense of the stories to follow:

Siler City Latino family from El Vínculo Hispano pantry, translated from Spanish

Mother: “Because I can’t get that much, I buy just a little bit of meat and accompany that with rice and beans. It diversifies the plate, but also rounds out the meal to make it more full. With rice and beans, you become more full and the plate is complete.”

Chapel Hill family being served by TABLE:

Mother: “When I couldn’t serve food, I felt like one of the worst mothers in the whole entire world…it was like, what kind of a mother am I that I cannot provide for a child. I remember thinking that.

“I did feel like at first, people were looking down on me. When I’d pull out the EBT card I would just feel so much shame at first.”

Farmer Foodshare Challenge: Participating Markets

About Farmer Foodshare

Farmer Foodshare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit connecting people who grow food with people who need food. Go to www.farmerfoodshare.org, or info@farmerfoodshare.org for information or to volunteer.