Feeding, teaching and helping people to cook and grow food

June 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

Handing out onions at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s mobile market at Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh. Photo by Billy Lane in the News and Observer.

One of the biggest challenges in growing a sustainable foodshed is making healthy food available and accessible to all. That’s especially difficult when there are so many people out of work, and  when low wages, including for those who grow and process our food, mean that many workers struggle to put nutritious meals on the table. The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and many volunteers tackle these challenges every day by feeding, teaching and helping people cook and grow  food. Here’s an excerpt from a great story about it by Burgetta Eplin Wheeler in the News and Observer:

Folding tables lined with oranges, apples and sweet-smelling strawberries. Cardboard bins bursting with cabbage, collards and all kinds of bread. Aproned workers wearing bright and helpful smiles.

This was the healthful and happy picture that recently greeted folks who moved from a line outside Martin Street Baptist Church into the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s first mobile market open to all in need in Raleigh.

More than 115 families walked away with bags and boxes stuffed with some of the 10,000 pounds of goods that IFFS had hauled to the church in two refrigerated trucks.

“I work a part-time job, and I barely make it,” said Earlyne Bascombe as she filled a bag with collards. “This is such a blessing.”

The mobile market is but one of a multitude of programs offered by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, whose motto is: “We feed. We teach. We grow. Give a man a fish. Teach a man to fish. Stock the pond for all.”

• Feed? IFFS is filling the school-year gap by providing breakfast, lunch and snacks this summer to children in low-income areas. In Wake County, where 33 percent of schoolchildren qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, food is available in eight locations.

• Teach? The nonprofit offers a culinary job training program that prepares those with severe life challenges for careers in food service. It also offers apprenticeships for teenagers interested in learning how to farm.

• Grow? IFFS has its own 6-acre farm in Raleigh and helps low-income neighborhoods start community gardens.

“We realize we have to do more than just give people food,” said Kia Baker, the agency’s director of food recovery and distribution. “We’re building the food security system.”

Read the rest of the story.

Entry filed under: Community Gardening, food access, Learning, Politics/ Policy, Sustainable Food. Tags: , , , , .

What’s wrong with this picture? Now chefs can order local food online 24/7

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