FOOD ACCESS WORK
The 2022 growing season marks Crossroads Community Farm’s third year of growing organic vegetables with the express purpose of giving them away to low-income households for free.
Our model is different. We aren’t just giving away the food we couldn’t sell or the food that doesn’t meet customer standards. We are purposefully growing vegetables to deliver at their highest quality to those in greatest need. To be low-income shouldn’t equate to eating low-quality food.
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. In 2021, 11% of our veggie share eaters were low-income. We are working to continue increasing that percentage each year.
The farm works with community organizations to distribute food directly to households in need, including Healthy Food for All (Madison) and the Badger Prairie Needs Network (Verona). We work with these community organizations to help guide what type of vegetables community members want and the best ways to distribute them – boxes, market-style Pop Up Pantries seem to be the best!
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 and impoversished rural households – 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.
If you feel moved to support our work, please consider donating to our GoFundMe Campaign (for 2022 this will be up and running the week of March 8th)!