The IFC Food Pantry located in downtown Carrboro, provides more than 1,500 bags of special holiday groceries to needy families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro during November and December. But until 5 years ago, the IFC had never offered fresh produce in its holiday food distribution.
Since the founding of Farmer Foodshare in 2009, the IFC has regularly supported local farmers. The holidays are no exception. Farmer Foodshare and the IFC team up every November and December to offer something special through an annual event, Farm Fresh for the Holidays. Needy families can now enjoy fresh, local produce from NC farms to round out the non-perishable groceries.
The selection offered in November was perfect for a Thanksgiving feast, including collard and mustard greens, broccoli, sweet potatoes and crispy red apples from the mountains. As hands worked steadily several mornings in a row, volunteers described their own Thanksgiving food traditions and family celebrations, all the while cognizant of their own distinct privileges. One volunteer gently noted, “This is quite humbling. But I am really glad to be here helping and glad the members will have these beautiful collards!” Others echoed this sentiment as they continued to work, placing each fresh item into bags, making each meal more complete with some apples, sweet potatoes and collards.
It takes many hands to make Farm Fresh for the Holidays possible, from the farmers who grew the food to the volunteers that packed the boxes. A special thanks goes to Maple Spring Gardens, for donating 1000 pounds of sweet potatoes that will grace every holiday box distributed. Further appreciation to the steadfast Farmer Foodshare volunteers, Beth Miller, Joyce Johnson and Jason Gibson, and a lively group of Carolina Friends School students that came to help bag the fresh food for the Thanksgiving week.
Thank you volunteers, farmers, and staff at the IFC for helping to make 700 family’s Thanksgiving tables more complete!