This Tuesday, we kick off Triangle wide efforts to fight hunger with the annual Farmer Foodshare Challenge. The Challenge is an effort to bring extra attention and funds to fighting hunger in our community using Famers Market based Donation Stations. The Challenge will operate at 17 different markets, and each market has an individual goal to raise funds for their partner hunger relief agency. All together, the goal is to raise $5,000, 100% of which will be used to buy food for recipient agencies throughout the year.
The theme for this year’s Farmer Foodshare Challenge is “Preserving the Season.” During June, farmers will have an abundance of food and thousands of shoppers at markets across the state will make generous donations to Donation Stations. However, in the fall and winter, markets become less populated, and there are less food donations to go around. We are asking for your help to build up a buying reserve to make produce purchases year round for each market. The money collected this June for the Farmer Foodshare Challenge will be used to purchase food from farmers in the fall and winter when donations are scarce.
In addition to preserving the season with a buying reserve, we will be sharing food-preserving techniques at Market and with our recipient agencies. Bryan Meade of Club Nova remarked on summer preserving, saying that, “We preserve the bounty of summer in cold hibernation to awaken in the fall. Our Thanksgiving kitchen palette is aglow with warm summer tones in the cool autumn.” We’ve also started a series of preserving classes with April McGregor of Farmers Daughter. She is teaching community members how to preserve food at TABLE, Club Nova, and Iglesia Emanuel.
In addition to supporting farmers and increasing food access in our community, the Farmer Foodshare Challenge is also a meaningful experience for volunteers. Julia volunteered last year at the Challenge and found it to be a rewarding experience. “It surprised me how excited the kids were about the stickers of different fruits and learning about the different vegetables through our paper scavenger hunt…Being able to reach a larger audience, that of the youngest generation with the most potential to future impact our world, was energizing. I never had a farmers market to go to growing up, so I was thrilled to see the progress of our society as more markets are becoming accessible and available to the youngest members of our society."
We hope to see you at Market this week. Please consider making a donation of food or cash, any amount helps!