Field to Family’s Farm Stand program offers free fresh, locally-grown foods, prepared food samples, information on food preparation as well as youth food system and nutrition educational activities at various locations in Johnson County during the growing season. Our Farm Stands are operational weekly or bi-weekly April-October at neighborhoods located in food deserts as well as a few community-wide events.
“Food deserts” are generally defined as areas that have low or inconsistent access to affordable or healthy food (high poverty rates, limited transportation options and located at least .5 miles away from a grocery store). In addition to free locally-grown food, each Farm Stands will include a mini “Farmer Fair” for all ages! These Farmer Fairs bring the farm to the neighborhood with food tastings, chef demonstrations, hands-on cooking and gardening activities, plus fun nutrition and food system educational games.
Our Farm Stand program works to support low-income populations and people of color in Johnson County and aims to reduce food insecurity while increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables adults and children consume in Johnson County. In case you didn’t know, the state of Iowa is ranked 46th in the amount of adults consuming the USDA’s daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.
We set-up 20 Farm Stands in 2017! Field to Family purchased fresh food from local farmers, offered free produce grown by Grow: Johnson County and featured food system and nutrition educational activities for kids. We also offered freshly prepared food samples.
2017 Farm Stand TOTALS:
600 Total Households Served at 20 Farm Stands at 12 different locations
2,905 pounds of fresh food distributed
1,555 pounds of food purchased from local farmers
1,250 pounds donated from Grow: Johnson County
~100 donated from local growers
We provided samples of the following foods (Fresh and Prepared):
Collard Greens (fresh and prepared)
Cucumbers Cherry Tomatoes
Mixed green salad
Fresh Produce Distributed:
Bell Peppers, Green and Red
Greens, salad, mixed
Peppers, bell, sweet & hot
Tomatoes, heirloom & roma
Grow: Johnson County- 1,250 pounds!
Millet Seed Farm
ISU Extension & Outreach Muscatine Island Demonstration and Research Farm
Muddy Miss Farms
Organic Greens LLC
Purchased produce from:
Green Share CSA
Salt Fork Farm
For a more complete reporting, 2017 Farm Stand report.
We are currently working with partner organizations and agencies to better reach our target populations. While we will still seek out locations considered food deserts in Johnson County, we will also work with Backyard Abundance, The Dream Center, Coralville Food Pantry and Sankofa Outreach Connection to reach more audiences. Know of an organization or an event we should set-up our Farm Stand? Please let us know!
After analyzing food insecurity in Johnson County over a sixteen-month period, the Johnson County Hunger Task Force generated a range of solutions to help area residents in need increase access to food. In response to the report findings (find link bottom center), the Johnson County Board of Supervisors allocated funding for three new hunger relief programs: A mobile food pantry, a food pantry at a secondary school and farm stands.
In October and November of 2016, Field to Family launched the Farm Stand in Food Deserts program and worked with the Crisis Center’s mobile food pantry, staging their farmstand alongside their mobile pantry at select locations determined by their knowledgable staff.
Oct. & Nov. 2016 Farm Stand TOTALS:
152 total families served. Of these:
72 total families served at 5 Farm Stands accompanied by the Crisis Center’s Mobile Food Pantry
80 Families served at our one pilot Farm Stand
705 pounds of food distributed at pilot Farm Stand
430 pounds of food distributed at the 3 November Farm Stands
350 approximate pounds of food distributed at 2 October Farm Stands
1,485 pounds of fresh, locally-grown produce distributed to 152 families with about an average of 10 pounds of food to each family.