Carrboro Market distributes 10,000 pounds of produce to food banks

October 5, 2009 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

Thanks to the ingenuity of a newcomer and the generosity of local farmers and their customers, the Carrboro Farmers’ Market has collected more than 10,000 pounds of fresh produce for the hungry. It all began when Margaret Gifford overheard a local farmer at the market say that he would have to compost the tomatoes that didn’t get sold that day. Gifford, who had recently moved to the area from San Francisco with her family, wondered why the unsold food couldn’t be gleaned for local food banks. Soon she began taking boxes to the twice weekly market asking farmers to donate their unsold produce for the soup kitchens and food pantries.

The farmers thought that was a great idea, and it grew. UNC students began helping to collect and distribute the surplus food. Then the Farmers’ Market asked customers to get involved.  On a recent Saturday, market shoppers were encouraged  to buy an extra bag of produce to be donated to the food banks. In one day, customers purchased more than 1,700 pounds of fresh food for the program. When added to the 19-week collection of surplus food begun by Gifford, the Market has now distributed more than 10,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables for several local programs.

Learn more in Valarie Schwartz’ feature, “The market with a soul” in the Carrboro Citizen.

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