by Dara Albrecht
Dara Albrecht, one of our AMP volunteers, shares her role within a nonprofit that works to provide business to local farmers and food security for the community.
“My strongest experience with food security in my community is through a program called Farmer Foodshare: a nonprofit in North Carolina that operates in a network of farmers’ markets across the state. Currently, my job is to sit at a booth and greet the patrons of my local farmers’ market, explain what Farmer Foodshare does, and collect donations that go back into the community.
The cycle of Farmer Foodshare begins with the farmers who bring their fresh produce and products to the Atherton Farmers’ Market in the South End of Charlotte, North Carolina. When patrons visit the market, they are not only economically supporting local farms and restaurants, but they also have the chance to donate to Farmer Foodshare through the tip jars that we have at the booths. That is where my job comes in, as I explain the program and describe how the donations will be used.
Once we have received enough tip money, a Farmer Foodshare volunteer walks around the market and buys produce from the farmers. We then put the purchases in the market refrigerator. This process is repeated until the end of the day, when a representative from a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter comes to collects the day’s purchases. These representatives then take the food back to their centers to feed the hungry and those who do not have food security. Through its program, Farmer Foodshare provides business to local farmers as well as hunger relief to communities in Charlotte and the surrounding area.
I’ve been a part of Atherton Market Farmer Foodshare for 3 years now, and it has been an immensely rewarding experience for me. I have developed very strong connections with the farmers as well as with my fellow volunteers, and it is exciting to see my actions directly impact so many people in my local community!”
Image source: Jeremy Keith