Because of support from the local fast-casual restaurant sweetgreen, the Anne Beers Elementary community and surrounding neighborhood in Ward 7 will have access to 20 weeks of seasonal, fresh, and affordable produce, 10 weeks this past fall and 10 weeks in spring 2018. sweetgreen support allows us to discount the price of the produce so that it is affordable to all families who participate.
The shares are in high demand!
From the first week on, all the shares sold out. In some weeks, most or all shares sold in advance. To help meet the demand, we increased the number of shares available from 30 to 35 shares.
We are reaching out into the broader community.
About 90 people participated this fall; one-third Beers parents; one-third Beers staff; and one-third community members. Araina Ford, a Beers parent, helps manage the Farm Share and is amazing at connecting with families and the wider community.
Customers have been excited for the produce and the community-building benefits of the program. One customer said, “The experience was great and Araina Ford is excellent in serving the community!” The weekly pick-up on Thursday afternoons in the school courtyard has provided a positive time for families, staff and community members to come together around fresh, nutritious food.
At every farm share pick up, Shana Donahue, the Beers FoodPrints Teacher, prepared simple, low-cost FoodPrints recipes using some of the produce from the week’s share. Among the items Shana demonstrated and made available for tasting were Butternut Squash Soup, Tuscan Kale Salad, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili, and Colorful Kale Salad. The cooking demonstrations were a big draw for customers, and they brought lots of students out after school to sample what was cooking.
Gale Livingstone, owner of Rainbow Hill farm, grows the produce and brings the shares each week from her farm 60 miles away in West Virginia. She has stayed for the Farm Share pick up a few times, giving patrons a chance to meet the farmer that grew their food!
Customers love the Farm Share!
It is “great and convenient”
It “keeps me honest with my health and eating habits.”
It is a “great asset for this neighborhood.”
“Excellent program; I like supporting the local business.”
“Thank you! Keep up the good work.”
“I loved each week of veggies.”
“Wonderful program. I appreciated the opportunity to get fresh produce.”
“Looking forward to participating in the spring.”
“The produce was very, very good and the staff were very knowledgeable and friendly. My family and I are extremely pleased with the program!”
“I loved the variety of produce.”
“Thank you Rain, Shana and Gale for providing our community with this tremendous service!!!”