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Jul 27, 2009

Carrboro Farmers' Market Farmer Foodshare -- Unsold Food Goes to Poor

My friend Margaret recently started a food gleaning program at the Carrboro Farmer's Market.  Her low-tech, common sense "why didn't someone think of this already?" effort reminds me that there are so many "obvious" opportunities for good that still need someone to notice, step up to, and do. In this case, talk about your "low hanging fruit" :-).  No diss to the good farmers and organizers at Carrboro Farmer's Market for not doing this until now -- they've been doing many great things for years.  Now they're doing one more.

Excerpt from yesterday's News & Observer:

Margaret Gifford makes her rounds on a recent Wednesday evening near closing time at the Carrboro Farmers' Market. With a cardboard box in hand, she reminds farmers that she's there to collect any produce they can't sell and won't keep until the next market day.

...The idea came to Gifford, a market regular and former public relations executive, when she heard farmer Ken Dawson of Maple Spring Gardens talking about composting unsold tomatoes. "I noticed farmers taking some unbelievable produce home," she says. "We need to get the food from the people who have the food to the people who need the food."

...On that recent Wednesday night as the farmers start breaking down their stations, the collection begins. John Ferguson of Ferguson Farm donates two large boxes of ripe peaches, which were just selling for $4 to $7 a basket. Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm brings over a box of tomatoes worth more than $60. Basil comes from Cane Creek Farm. Cucumbers come from Turtle Run farm. Elise Margoles of Elysian Fields Farm drops off a grocery bag filled with eggplant.

"Thanks for taking care of this," Leah Cook of Wild Hare Farm tells Gifford. "It's so nice that someone will take it from here."

-- Collecting Unsold Produce for the Hungry (<-click for full text).  Andrea Weigl, News & Observer, Sunday July 26, 2009.


For my Durham friends: the article mentions that the Durham Farmer's Market has been donating to Urban Ministries of Durham for years :-)

08:29 AM in Food, News, Urban Ministries of Durham | Permalink


Linked -- thanks.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 27, 2009 2:09:23 PM

Hi Phil, Thanks for highlighting the program. As of yesterday, the Carrboro Farmers Market Farmer FoodShare program is up to 3 tons of food collected and delivered. Big huge kudos go to Adam Sherwood, from UNC's F.L.O. and the rest of the Saturday volunteers - Rob, Lilli, Patrick and John. Seems like the more folks we have join up to help, the more food we are able to collect and deliver. I hope that this effort can spread to other markets. It is easy and there are still a lot of food insecure people in our area.

Posted by: Margaret Gifford | Aug 6, 2009 5:42:31 PM