Open source gleaning model helps NC market farmers address hunger issues

I had the great pleasure to become acquainted in 2012 with this innovative program that is closely linked to the North Carolina farmers markets and individual farmers to get food flowing to more people- but this model made sure that it was NOT at the expense of farmers businesses. Their Donation Stations allows customers to buy an extra share to donate to those in need and also allowed farmers credit for any donations that they made. Their wholesale work to get more agencies to buy regional food is also extremely important.

Open source model helps NC solve hunger problem | opensource.com.

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How A Government Computer Glitch Forced Thousands Of Families To Go Hungry

“The glitches in North Carolina mark another example of government technology gone awry, turning a program created to sustain millions of people through hard times into a new aggravation. The high-profile failure of the federal health care exchange last fall illustrated what many low-income people have encountered for years: faulty computer systems and websites that prevent them from receiving public assistance on time.

In North Carolina, the fix was simple: In August, caseworkers found that their computers stopped crashing if they switched browsers from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome.

But the backlog kept growing. By the end of last year, more than 30,000 families in North Carolina had waited more than a month to receive food stamps — a violation of federal rules that require routine applications be processed within 30 days. About one third of those families had waited three months or more.”

How A Government Computer Glitch Forced Thousands Of Families To Go Hungry.

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association 2013 Conference

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a farmer-driven, membership-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic agriculture.

Our key program areas are:
Education
Advocacy
Food Systems
Farm Services
Founded in 1979, we are the oldest and largest sustainable agriculture organization in the Southeast. For over three decades, we have successfully united farmers, consumers and businesses to build a just, healthy food and farming future.

Program | Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.

Concert to raise money for EBT program

Great idea from the Cobblestone Farmers Market (coincidentally a market that I profiled in my Market Governance paper) about how to fundraise for incentives. This does more than just raise a bit of money; it also explains the deeper mission of the market to the general public and may also shake out more funders for the future.

Concert to raise money for EBT program – Winston-Salem Journal: Tidbits.

If you build it….

Carrboro North Carolina’s iconic farmers market has led the region in another way: In 1996, they secured a permanent location and an overhang over part of their market with electricity and drains available.Image

The Carrboro Farmers Markets is an incorporated vendor-run entity, operating twice a week in the summer and on Saturdays year-round. The Board is elected by their vendor membership and the board oversees the market staff and the market’s finances.

Recently, I asked Sarah Blacklin, Carrboro Market Manager to share some facts about their market history and structure:

1. When was the structure built? The structure secured funding from the General Assembly in 1993.  The structure was completed and built by 1996

2. Who paid for it and who maintains it? Paid for by G.A. (the Market worked with the Senator to secure that funding).  The Town of Carrboro Public Works maintains it since it’s used for other events all other times throughout the week.  Technically the Market just “rents” the space on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

3. How many vendors use the structure and how many are outside of it? (on average of course) On average, there are 32 spaces under shelter.  For Wednesdays, that’s 32 vendors and for Saturdays (since some have double spaces), that’s about 20 vendors. Out of the shelter, we’re looking at about 46.

4.  Can the vendors use the outlets for electricity? Are there drains? Some vendors have access to electricity. There are electric outlets at every other space, so some folks run an extension cord or don’t use it at all if it’s not close to them.  Yes, there are drains outside but there are some overall drainage issues in the outfield which is why we’re addressing these issues with a fundraiser project.

5.  Is it ever used for other events? Yes, it’s commonly used for other events.  The Town’s 4th of July and Halloween celebration, “Carrboro Day”, music festival, and anything in between, music festival, and anything in between.

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Carrboro's shed for storage and electricity.

Carrboro’s shed for storage and electricity.