Seed to Feed, pantries get local food

ELKHART, Ind. – Seed to Feed is making sure local food pantries have fresh produce on the shelves.This week the group passed out 1,825 pounds of fresh produce during its first ever Free Farmer’s Market.On Tuesday and Wednesday, Seed to Feed set-up the produce stand at Church Community Services in Elkhart.“This is the first Free Farmer’s Market. It’s an experiment we’re trying to help us distribute fresh produce to other food pantries,” said co-coordinator Katie Jantzen.All of the food is grown at the group’s gardens, donated by local farmers, or purchased with Seed to Feed funds.Jantzen said this is the program’s second growing season and in one year it’s grown from two to six fields.During the two-day Farmer’s Market, 11 local pantries took advantage of picking up fresh food.“These fresh fruits and vegetables are going to go to Elkhart, Goshen, and Wakarusa residents,” said Antonette Reese of the Council on Aging of Elkhart County.Reese got to pick out at least 200 pounds of local produce to benefit the council’s pantry.She said the Council on Aging serves more than 3,000 clients across Elkhart County and free, fresh foods can be hard to come by.“A lot of them sacrifice they’re nutritional needs for medications and healthcare costs,” said Reese, “so this allows us to bring some of that nutritious, healthy foods into the home.”Jantzen said this was a one-time experiment with the Free Farmer’s Market. They plan to evaluate how it went, make changes, and hope to do more in the future.Seed to Feed fields are all maintained and harvested by volunteers. If you’re interested in helping please contact Church Community Services at574-295-3673.

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