Sharing Local Food

We all love farmers’ markets. Well, here’s one more reason to do so: using markets as a vehicle to feed the hungry and avoid waste.

Farmer Foodshare does just that. Launched in 2009 in Carrboro, N.C., the volunteer-based operation harnesses generosity by collecting end-of-market excess from growers and accepting shopper donations.

Those donations come in purchased food and money that the group uses to buy food from farmers. At the end of the market, FF distributes the gleaned goodness to those in need. The group has a few other initiatives, like helping start community gardens and sending fresh, local food home with kids.

FF now operates at five markets in North Carolina. It will soon be six. Last night I attended a planning session for the group’s April 23 launch at the Durham Farmers’ Market.

Volunteers are needed to man the “donation station” for a mere hour (or more). And community members are needed to share local food through their generosity. If you’re local, contact FF founder Margaret Gifford (via the site) or stop by the table in a few weeks!

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 6, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    That’s a great idea. When I was living in NYC, I would help out with my CSA to clean up after the shares were delivered. Some of the remaining produce would be given to the local food bank, but couldn’t give them too much because they preferred canned and packaged foods. They didn’t know what to do with the fresh stuff. Thought it to be odd.

  2. Posted April 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mike. That sure is a frustrating fact of life in many a food bank. Lack of prep or cold storage space can be a real problem, especially given the humble facilities available. But it leads those in need away from local/fresh foods and toward the more processed, shelf-stable ones that are less healthy.

    Increasingly, though, we’re seeing food banks, etc. not only able to take these foods, but seeking them out. The tide is turning…

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