Everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy, dignified food. An overlap of social, racial, and economic inequities in our food system make it out of reach for far too many households.

Starting in 2020, Crossroads Community Farm began growing organic vegetables with the express purpose of giving them away to low-income households for free. By 2023, over 30% of the vegetables we grew were eaten by people who did not pay for them.

Our model is different. To be low-income shouldn’t equate eating low-quality food.  We aren’t just giving away the food we couldn’t sell or the food that doesn’t meet our customers’ standards. We are purposefully growing vegetables to deliver at their highest quality to those in greatest need. We call this the Purpose Grown Project.

To fund this work we rely on the support of our customers and the community at large to pay our farmers a living wage to produce the vegetables we give away. Our model is based on the idea that those with greater means have a moral obligation to assist those who have less.

The farm works with community organizations to distribute food directly to households in need, including Healthy Food for All (Madison), the Neighborhood House Community Center (Madison), and Badger Prairie Needs Network (Verona). We work with these community organizations to help guide what types of vegetables community members want and the best ways to distribute them.

It’s important to understand that our work is not challenging or disrupting the root causes of an unfair and unjust food system. We are addressing the overwhelming need and desire for fresh, high-quality vegetables in food apartheid neighborhoods – both because the need is present and real, and because we don’t have the answers of how to fix a very broken food system.  It’s a bandaid approach at best, and we continue to be in discussion in community to try and figure out ways to challenge the food system.

Families struggling economically deserve high quality, nutritious vegetables provided in a consistent and dignified way. Our work strives to do just that.

Each year on April 1st we launch a crowdfunding campaign to fundraise for this work.

If you feel moved to support our work, please consider donating!