Amber, our Shalom Farms staff person, greeted us and gave us a thorough, informative overview of many things, including: issues facing those who live in “food deserts” (3.5 miles or more from a grocery store) without transportation; the workings of the farm; and the many programs designed to meet the needs of children and families by increasing access to fresh food.
The Richmond Healthy Corner Store Initiative, Grown To Go Mobile Market, and Healthy Food Distribution Network distributes over 150,000 servings of Shalom Farms produce each year in the greater Richmond area.
By partnering with existing organizations at work in the community, Shalom Farms is “able to improve the current offerings and provide the healthiest food possible in a cost effective way, deepening and enriching existing programs.” It also offers the Prescription Produce Plan and Kitchen Clinic programs, which focus on the connections between diet and health through hands-on cooking experiences, and learning ways to use fresh fruits and vegetables in new ways.
Our team harvested squash and zucchini, pulled weeds, and helped uncover some plants, which were covered as part of their growth process.
It was hot, rewarding work, and everyone who participated left eager to return and serve once again!
As I prepare to leave Second next month, I hope and pray the church will consider making a strong connection with Shalom Farms, both through hands-on service at the farm and through financial support.
If you feel called to be the mission leader for this important connection, please let me know!!!