Farmers, Arcata Food Project Fight Hunger – October 5, 2010
Arcata Food Project
ARCATA – The Arcata Food Project at Farmers’ Market is a volunteer based project that, in conjunction with local farmers, provides fresh, organic produce, flowers and bread during the summer to people living with HIV/AIDS and /or other chronic diseases. For 18 years the vendors at the Arcata Farmers’ Market in Humboldt County have been generously donating to this project.
This project began early in 1990 with a group of volunteers who gleaned from the farmers at The Market and distributed food to people living with HIV/AIDS. They often would deliver the produce to people who were homebound and when necessary, also distributed prepared dishes made from the gleaned food. As the market grew, so did the population of eligible recipients.
Until last year, 2009, the project was called “The AIDS Food Project.” When the present coordinator, Lynn Stacy, took over the project last year she changed the name to “Arcata Food Project at Farmers’ Market.” “AIDS” was dropped from the title and the program was expanded to include selected individuals with similar infectious or chronic diseases.
It still retained the initials of AFP and the logo of carrots, tomatoes and broccoli was created.
New in 2010
What is new this year is that in the lean months of April thru June, when there is very little to glean from the market, several businesses including the Arcata Co-op and Murphy’s Market in Sunny Brae have generously donated fruits and vegetables.
Mad River Gardens has donated plant starts and Fox Farms has donated fertilizer so participants could grow their own vegetables and flowers.
Brio Breadworks and Los Bagels are also donating baked goods this year.
Also new in 2010 is the larger numbers of participants in the program – more than 175 families have been invited to participate. Volunteers no longer prepare meals from the produce but there are some deliveries to Eureka and the program is working on doing more outreach.
We have an old clunker van (anyone out there have a reliable truck or van they would like to donate?) that we use to do deliveries and for hauling boxes and dollies.
Thanks to Renee at Bob’s Signs, we even have our logo and contact info on the side of the van.
About the volunteers
This program is run completely by volunteers from the community and many of the volunteers are also participants in the program.
The AFP coordinator, Lynn Stacy, is also a volunteer and is the clinical dietitian for Humboldt Open Door Community Health Centers.
Key volunteers who are helping every Saturday are James, Gary, Brad, Jo and Lesley. Mark, the owner/driver of the Kineticab, has been invaluable in being the “extra big dolly” that carts boxes of produce to the pick-up site.
The volunteers can be identified by their red shirts with the AFP logo (thanks to Humboldt Outfitters) and the red dollies seen on the market between about 1 and 2:30 p.m.
For more information on this program, contact AFP Coordinator and Open Door Clinical Dietitian, Lynn Stacy at (707) 499-3371