Posted on Thu, August 02, 2012 by Slow Food USA
0 Comments | Categories: Slow Food Chapters in Action,
Written by Dana Miller, co-director of Grow Local Colorado
In response to the growing number of people visiting Denver area food pantries and to increase access to healthy and fresh produce for all, area organizations have come together to create Produce for Pantries.
A project of Cooking Matters, Grow Local Colorado, Denver Urban Gardens, Slow Food Denver, Plant a Row for The Hungry, Livewell Colorado, Food Bank of the Rockies, Metro CareRing, Yardharvest, and St. John’s Cathedral, Produce for Pantries connects food pantries with school gardens, community gardens, and home gardens in their neighborhoods to provide locally grown and healthy food and nutrition education to those in need. Through Yardharvest, food pantries will also be connected with fruit gleaned from residents’ trees who have an excess they would like to donate.
A total of twenty-three Denver area pantries are involved as pilot sites for 2012. Those pantries are being connected with school gardens via Slow Food Denver, community gardens via Denver Urban Gardens, and home gardens via a media campaign. As well as receiving fresh produce, food pantries will be provided with easy, nutritious bilingual recipes to accompany the produce, information on safe food handling and storage for the fresh produce, as well as on-site cooking classes.
“In the world’s wealthiest nation, no child should go hungry, but one in five children in America struggles with hunger” said Cooking Matters’ Megan Bradley. “Produce for Pantries recognizes that one of the main hurdles to healthy eating can be access to local nutritious foods. You can’t get more local than food grown in the neighborhood of food pantries.”
Produce for Pantries “connects the dots” by bringing together youth growing produce in school gardens, residents growing in community gardens, and citizens growing vegetables in home gardens to help nourish their neighbors in need, thereby strengthening and enriching Denver’s diverse neighborhoods.