Farm to Food Pantry

 

LIFT-UP saw the need for healthier fresh food options beyond the typical non-perishable canned, boxed and bagged foods that oftentimes are laden with extra salt and sugars. Some initial grants, from Colorado Blueprint on Hunger, Hunger Free Colorado and Aspen Community Foundation, allowed for the purchase of fresh meat from Potter Farms as well as produce from local farms.

The Farm to Food Pantry is a win-win for our community economically and in providing healthier food options to those struggling with food scarcity and insecurity. After years of encouraging gleaning during fall harvests, partnerships with farmers’ markets and a grocery rescue program that in 2019 received more than 371,000 pounds of fresh produce and dairy, plus the recent grants outlined above, LIFT-UP has tested the waters. Growing our Farm to Food Pantry program will help our entire community. This is an economic system that will offer more improved food offerings, from more producers, through community food sites like the LIFT-UP food pantries to the underserved.

LIFT-UP can serve more clients with healthier food choices, help farmers & ranchers with known paid food purchasing commitments and keep the resources in the Roaring Fork valley, regionally and along the I-70 corridor. 

This expanded Farm to Food Pantry Program will:

  1. Support the local economy with the purchase of produce, dairy and beef from local farmers and ranchers,
     

  2. Allow farms and ranches to plan ahead for crops and needs,
     

  3. Offer needed dairy through Colorado-based dairy farms,
     

  4. Provide healthier food options to the underserved population in the Roaring Fork valley beyond the traditional non-perishable food sources resulting in potentially fewer negative health impacts,
     

  5. Create a system with a lower impact on our environment with less trucking from outside Colorado resources.

Food security for our valley has been on my mind a lot lately. Especially as we go into the summer and fall, we could ramp up farming by making advance purchase agreements for food, stimulate income and jobs for local works AND support our food pantries with local organic nutritious food. The LIFT-UP Farm to Pantry is ready to put our donation to use.

– Tim J. (Donor)

Eating fresh food keeps people healthier. It not only tastes better but it also contributes to a better quality diet which in the long run can prevent people from getting sick with chronic diseases.

– Christine Dolan RDN (Nutrition Program Manager, Garfield County Public Health)

HOW IT WORKS

  • Through grants and donations, LIFT-UP will make purchasing commitments to local (Roaring Fork valley) farms and ranchers as well as regionally for additional produce and dairy.
     

  • Farmers will have up-front commitments and funding to grow their crops.
     

  • Fall harvesting will be delivered to LIFT-UP through local distributors (Farm Runners and Skips) to the LIFT-UP Food Pantries.
     

  • LIFT-UP will distribute fresh produce, dairy and meat to their underserved clients in need.
     

  • Beyond the typical grocery rescue, this program will also allow for ordering foods in keeping with cultural diversity and seasonality, while also allowing for flexibility in accepting secondary market produce or adjustments should a crop not produce as expected due to natural disasters or other unforeseen situations.

I love the win-win of supporting local food producers and getting more fresh food to the LIFT-UP Food Pantries. Let’s all pitch in to make the Farm to Food Pantry program work for everyone.

– Amy Throm

Why are local foods so important?

1.

Local foods are fresher. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose nutrients as soon as they are picked. Buying local produce cuts down travel time from farm to table. Produce is not forced to ripen and so it maintains nutrients and tastes better.

2.

Local foods are seasonal. It would be great to have fresh tomatoes and berries all year round, but eating seasonally means avoiding “artificial ripening” with gases or eating a bland version of a fruit or vegetable that’s been shipped thousands of miles. Eating seasonally results in the most delicious and nutrient-dense produce.

3.

Local foods are better for the environment. Some foods are shipped literally thousands of miles; that is a big carbon footprint that could be avoided by purchasing local and seasonal foods.

4.

Local foods preserve green space and farmland. The environmental question of where your food comes from is bigger than its carbon footprint. Buying foods grown and raised closer to where you live helps maintain farmland and green space in your area.

5.

Local foods promote food safety. Less distance between your food’s source and your kitchen table leaves less of a chance of contamination.

6.

Local foods promote variety. Local foods create a greater variety of foods. Farmers who run CSA (community-supported agriculture) programs, sell at farmers markets, and provide food to local restaurants have the demand and the economic support for raising more types of produce and livestock.

7.

Local foods support your local economy. Money spent locally stays local. Purchasing locally builds your local economy instead of handing over the earnings to a corporation in another city, state, or country. Also, since the food itself moves through less hands, more of the money you spend will end up in the pockets of those raising and growing those foods.

8.

Local foods create community. Ever find yourself spending much of your time at the farmers market chatting and socializing in addition to purchasing your produce? Getting to know your farmer, cheese purveyor, fishmonger, butcher, workers at your local co-op, etc., creates a sense of community. (Source: University of Washington)

FARM TO FOOD PANTRY PARTNERS

LIFT-UP is excited to work with the following farm and ranch partners:

 

  • Abundant TerrAced Earth

  • ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch

  • Early Mountain Orchard

  • Erin’s Acres

  • Grays Acres

  • Highwater Farm Project

  • Mattics Orchards

  • Okagawa Farms

  • Potter Farms

  • The Farm Collaborative

  • T-Lazy-7 Ranch

  • Two Roots Farm

  • Wild Mountain Seeds

REGISTER YOUR FRUIT TREES WITH UPROOT COLORADO

UpRoot reroutes surplus produce to food pantries — reducing food loss, supporting farmers and providing much-needed nutrients to families facing food insecurity.

Their Volunteer Gleaning Corps will harvest and collect excess produce from your backyard fruit trees and distribute the bounty to local LIFT-UP food pantries.

LIFT-UP es una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada a brindar elementos humanitarios esenciales mientras crea un puente hacia el empoderamiento personal y la autosuficiencia.

800 Railroad Avenue

Rifle, CO 81650

970.625.4496 | info@liftup.org

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