Donating Truly Fresh Food for the Hungry in Carrboro

We’ve all participated in food drives where you donate canned goods or other shelf-stable items to go to a food bank.  It’s a great gesture, and I’m sure that lots of people get fed that way, but these are, by there very nature, processed foods.

I’ve never really seen a food drive involving fresh food, until now.

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market is holding the “FoodShare Challenge” tomorrow, September 26, from 8 AM until noon, where patrons of the market are encouraged to donate an extra bag of fresh food to feed the hungry.  The Farmers’ Market has always been active in helping with hunger causes, donating over 7,500 pounds this summer, but on Saturday, the goal is for customers to donate over 1,000 pounds in a single day.

Andrea Reusing of Chapel Hill’s Lantern Restaurant, has provided generous support to this cause, as have a number of local organizations and businesses.

For more information on the FoodShare Program call or email Margaret Gifford at 919.967.6464 or mgw@well.com, or Sarah Blacklin at 919.280.3326 or info@carrborofarmersmarket.com.

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2 Responses to Donating Truly Fresh Food for the Hungry in Carrboro

  1. Chad says:

    Sounds like a great program, Dean. In Raleigh, the Interfaith Food Shuttle folks do a great job distributing fresh foods to those in need (http://www.foodshuttle.org/foodrecovery.html) Their largest donor is the State Farmer’s Market (Interfaith is located nearby) but also accept donated foods from grocery stores, catering operations, etc. They deliver it to a wide variety of soup kitchens, shelters, et al. Their kitchens are amazing. Ever seen a walk-in blast chiller?

  2. Margaret Gifford says:

    Thank you again for spreading the word! The community response was amazing. Despite a cold, rainy day, shoppers came out in droves and we raised 1,736 pounds of food in one morning – almost double our goal. The food was distributed by our FLO volunteers from UNC, led by Adam Sherwood, and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.

    Program total for 19 weeks is 9,810 pounds of fresh food for local food banks and community organizations that feed the hungry. We’re pretty sure we can reach 10,000 pounds of food within the next two weeks. We’ll be collecting at every Carrboro Farmers’ Market so feel free to come out any time and “buy a bag of food for yourself and give a bag of food for the hungry!”

    Local food is more nutritious. The Carrboro Farmers’ Market food is the same food that is served by Lantern Restaurant (one of the foodshare challenge sponsors), Magnolia Grill, Watts Grocery, GlassHalfFull and many other fine restaurants. We’re so thankful to the farmers and shoppers of Carrboro Farmers’ Market to be able to provide this food to people who don’t normally have access to it.

    Note: Per Chad’s comment above, I’ve heard that Durham Farmers’ Market and the State Farmers Market have similar surplus food collection programs. However, if anyone wants to start a similar program at their own farmers market, or with a local grocery store, just let me know: mgw@well.com or contact the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. We’d be happy to share learnings from our own program. One of our farmers, Lyons Farm, commented recently that he doesn’t understand why _every_ market doesn’t do this.

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