Non-profit helping fresh, local produce sprout up around Kentuckiana
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Fresh food is popping up in neighborhoods around Kentuckiana.
A nonprofit organization is making it easier to have a well-balanced diet, no matter where people live or how much money they make.
You don't have to talk to Karyn Moskowitz long to find out she's passionate about produce. Coming from a family that couldn't afford to make healthy eating a priority, she would later move to west Louisville to set up farmers markets.
The problem was farmers weren't buying in. "What we finally figured out by talking to the community, organizing the community, is what if we all pull our money together?" says Moskowitz, Executive Director of New Roots and Fresh Stop Markets.
She and her neighbors founded New Roots in 2010. It's a movement of people trying to change the food system. "People are looking to get involved and step up and lead and try to fix the food system that is not working for them right now," Moskowitz said.
Using an income-based sliding scale, members will receive a variety of local, organic fruits and vegetables. Shareholders with limited resources either pay $6 or $12. Those with higher incomes either pay $25 or $40. "That way everybody gets the same food, no matter what they pay," Moskowitz said.
Eight years later, New Roots' pop up markets are seeing big crowds every other week. "My husband and I are both retired and so we are limited income and I just think this is fantastic. I grew up on a farm," Glenna Gibson said. "I'm really looking forward to getting my first box today."
There are 16 sites around Kentuckiana. "If you notice in this particular neighborhood, we don't have access to stores. So, it brings that to the community every other Thursday. It has been fantastic," says Marion Miller, Pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church.
The idea has the support from local farmers, all 50 of them who get paid immediately. "That creates a lot more security and a little bit less the risk and the worry that is inherent in farming," says Seamus Allman of Rootbound Farm.
The markets now make up 25 percent of Rootbound Farm's income. "It feels really good to know that our food is going to people who otherwise wouldn't have access to it," Allman said.
Two weeks, and $40 worth of groceries, and a chef on site will help you make the most out of your box. "I'm just amazed that there's something like this available for the people who need it," Gibson said.
All are welcome. Pre-order and pick up the produce at a market near you. "For all of us to be able to eat the same, beautiful food, regardless of how much money we make, where we live, that's a very powerful thing for me and my family," Moskowitz said.
New Roots' markets go until November 2.
Volunteers plan to pilot a winter program, working with farmers around the country to get fresh produce.
To become a shareholder, volunteer or for more information, click here.
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