The Mellowhood Connection: Week #6 – July 15, 2020
For the last couple of years, I have been educating myself on structural racism and trying to figure out how I can use my sphere of influence to make positive change.
Intersections of racial justice and food justice are many.
I decided this last winter that I wanted to offer myself, my farm, and the possible collective resources of our membership to a community that exists in a food desert. (A food desert is defined as an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.) Sadly, Madison has several neighborhoods that fall under this category.
My plan was to have no plan, except an open mind. I didn’t want to come in with a white savior complex and push my ideas on anyone. I just wanted to show up, listen, offer resources, and be available to try and create change guided by and for a community.
Well then Covid hit. Neighborhood meetings stopped happening and food insecurity began to sky rocket.
I then contacted George Reistad, Madison’s Food Policy director. I explained to him what I was thinking. A couple days later, he had done some match-making and I found myself on the phone with Coach Assad. Founder of the Mellowhood Foundation, he is a caring and innovative community builder in Madison’s Meadowood neighborhood. And he was all about getting food from our farm into his neighborhood.
In one swift call, we had a plan for our farm to deliver 45 boxes of free, fresh vegetables to his neighborhood, and his staff and volunteers would then deliver this food directly to families doorsteps. (They were already doing this because of Covid).
Everyone deserves high quality, healthy food. This plan seemed like one little, tiny concrete step in that direction. Now, I had to come up with the money to do it.
Fairshare CSA Coalition’s partner shares program pledged to fund half of this project. (Yay!) My plan was to raise the other half from our members by asking them to chip in.
I set up a GoFund Me campaign and crossed my fingers.
I was not prepared for what happened next.
In less than 24 hours, we raised the money we needed – just shy of $10,000.
Clearly, our membership was ready to help.
We kept the fundraiser open for 4 days, and in that time raised just over $20,000.
The outpouring of support. The amazing generosity of our members. I hold this in my heart and shine light on it whenever the news of the days seems too much.
The world is full of wonderful people, and this effort helps me remember that.
We are saving the additional funds raised to increase our donations to the Meadowood neighborhood, as well as to Mt. Horeb’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors program. We will do this throughout the summer and in the fall through our fall share.
Thank you, thank you to all who contributed!
If you want a chance to be involved with this, one way you can help now is by using our donate a veggie option when you customize your box. Each week you can elect to chip in to our food insecurity assistance fund by purchasing a veggie(s) for families in need. You can purchase these in $3 increments.
Meanwhile, we are hoping to grow this program for next season an will certainly keep you informed of our efforts.
Everyone deserves healthy food!