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Seeds that Feed employees Margaret Jane Thomas, Aron Shelton and Alyssa Snyder with their new truck they’ve converted into the region’s first Mobile Food Pantry.
It has been theorized that at least part of the solution to the hunger problem in the United States could be found in its landfills.
That’s because these days, literally tons (and as much as 40%) of the country’s food ends up being thrown away or composted before its expiration date.
Meanwhile, there are families that can barely afford to feed themselves even with cheap, processed food, much less get access to the fresh produce that ultimately get thrown away every day.
That being the case, bridging that gap to get that thrown-away food into the hands of those who need it would go a long way toward ending food insecurity in this country.
Locally, there’s an organization whose mission is to do just that.
Seeds That Feed got its start in 2012, with co-founders Aron Shelton and Alyssa Snyder introducing themselves to the community at the first ever Dig In Food Festival. That same year, they began stationing themselves at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market three days a week to start the process of forming relationships with the farmers. Since then, those farmers themselves have donated over 26,000 pounds of their unsold fresh produce to the program to be distributed to hungry families in the region.
Seeds That Feed distributing food to residents of Hillcrest Towers.
The organization has a name for their process of redistributing healthy food to those who need it; “Carecropping.”
This month, Seeds that Feed unveiled their newest tool to help continue their mission, a retrofitted box truck they’ve turned into the regions first ever Mobile Produce Pantry.
The group was able to purchase the truck and convert it into a mobile pantry thanks to a $30,000 grant received last year via the Walmart Foundation.
They officially unveiled the truck on July 18 at the Fayetteville Farmers Market, where they set up and encouraged residents to buy a little extra produce from market vendors to help stock the truck with fresh produce. Several market vendors also donated some of their unsold produce to the cause.
After that, they headed to Hillcrest Towers, a low-income senior citizen apartment complex in Downtown Fayetteville, where residents were free to shop the fresh produce from the truck. Seeds That Feed also passed out a free “cookbox,” their version of cookbooks filled with recipes and instructions on how to prepare the donated produce.
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