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March 12, 2017
Making Food Accessible
A New Initiative
When I met the Farmer many years ago I fell in love with his passion to serve the underserved. Over the years we have had many conversations about how we might make a difference in communities that have difficulty accessing local, fresh produce.
Several obstacles prevent many people from benefitting from fresh produce. Among these are expense and limited availability. So-called “Food Deserts,” communities with very limited food choices, have come to public awareness. These communities may be home to many people without consistent use of an automobile, who are forced to do their grocery shopping on foot, by mass transit or when they can get a ride. People in this situation may need to take valuable time from crowded work and family schedules to travel long distances in order to simply find good quality fresh food. Otherwise, they may be limited to the worn-out produce at the corner grocer or quick mart. This is both a rural and urban problem. These Food Deserts can be found in neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading and in many rural towns as well.
To us, this seems both ironic and unnecessary, considering the abundance of good fresh food produced in our area.
This lack of access to good quality fresh food has negative repercussions on people’s lives. The consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has measurable health benefits. It is an affordable and proactive way for people to improve their health and avoid much higher health related expenses and challenges further down the road.
Giving people the ability to better control their own health simply by making better food choices is empowering and a smart way of helping to address the ever rising cost of health care.
Red Earth Farm wants to take a step towards providing access to fresh local produce for some of these communities who not currently have it. We are launching Community Supported Access to Food (CSAF). Through this initiative we hope to reach out to underserved families with the help of community partners. Community partners include organizations, institutions or even individuals who can help us better identify families that will truly benefit from this effort.
We aim to work with our partners to make our fresh produce and other farm products accessible to families who currently lack access.
How you can help?
Connect us with community partners: Connect us with someone who might wish to work with us in this effort. Identify neighborhood centers, synagogues, churches or any organization that has interest in food access in their community. If possible, personally introduce us to people in your community who can help with this initiative. It always helps to have a personal connection to build trust and open the conversation.