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Today is the day!!

We wanted to send a short and sweet note to thank you – our community.  YOU are the drivers of Food Security in Northwest Arkansas!.  Recovering food and distributing it to those who desperately need it, would not be possible with out you.  Thank you for all that you do – we hope you have an amazing day!

One last reminder – please email or Tweet us (@TriCycleFarms) your #UnSelfie photos and videos.  We will be sharing them all day on Facebook, so please be in touch and let us see your beautiful faces!

Here we go!

The #TriCycleFarms Team

Be a Food Security Hero!

Want to help Tri Cycle Farms feed more of your at-risk neighbors? Doubling your donation from matching gifts is simple and easy! We know many of you generous donors work for companies with matching gift programs, and those matching gifts will enable us to expand our capacity and feed more people!

Simply go to https://doublethedonation.com/giving-tuesday/ and enter your company’s name. DoubleTheDonation will provide you with as much of the following as possible: Up-to-date company policies; Minimum volunteer hours required; Printed forms or links to the online submission process – And Tri Cycle’s contact information, Tax ID, address,  and fundraising contact.

If your company isn’t listed, make sure to check with HR as there are many additional companies out there who offer volunteer grant programs. We wish we could submit the required form for you, but unfortunately the employee must submit it. We appreciate you taking a couple of minutes to double your donation and feed the hungry in your community!!

Your passion to end hunger and food waste can go further on #GivingTuesday!!

On November 28, we’re joining the national day of generosity, #GivingTuesday. It’s a day when you can make a big impact on Tri Cycle Farms and your neighbors and friends who experience food insecurity every day.

With your help we’re raising $50,000 to expand our Food Recovery and Distribution Hub, and acquire a sorely needed farm truck and refrigerated trailer. These actions will enable us to provide food to a larger number of people immediately, as well as expand operations on the Farm.

How can you be part of it? Here are a few simple steps:

  • Make a gift on #GivingTuesday

​ https://support.tricyclefarms.org/GivingTuesday2017

  • Join us at the Farm or on Facebook Live for our first Food Recovery Day with St. James Baptist Church!​
  • Get the word out on social media using #GivingTuesday and #TriCycleFarms
  • Post an UNselfie* while holding up a card telling why you give to Tri Cycle Farms
  • Do something kind for another person

Tri Cycle Farms is a nonprofit that depends on support from individuals like you to deliver our mission to end food waste and feed those who are hungry. We appreciate your generosity!

*UNselfies are pictures posted of yourself while committing generosity or an unselfish act ​

Giving Tuesday

Food security is defined as “…all people at all times having enough food for an active, healthy life.”[1] For the past few years, we have watched as the prevalence of food INsecurity in Arkansas has climbed to 19.2 percent – higher than the national average and the second highest in the United States.[2] As you know, Tri Cycle Farms works daily to end the threat of hunger for our neighbors. Today we are launching our #GivingTuesday campaign and are asking you to join us in our efforts to grow community through soil as we steward food awareness, education, and empowerment. We envision a world with food security, sovereignty, and sustainability for all.

Click here to skip the rest and get right to it: https://support.tricyclefarms.org/GivingTuesday2017

So, who in your community is likely going hungry? The overall food insecurity rate of students at the University of Arkansas is 60%;[3] about 40% of Arkansans aged 60 or older are living with food insecurity;[4] and approximately 23% of children in Washington County are at risk.[5] YOU probably know someone in one or more of these groups and YOU CAN HELP!

In our Food Recovery project, we pick up healthy, edible food otherwise destined for the landfill and distribute it to those at greatest risk for food insecurity. This year alone, we’ve delivered food to provide more than 74,000 meals! To achieve this, we partner with community grocers, pantries and farmers.

Support Tri Cycle Farms’ Food Recovery Project. We are raising $50,000 to renovate our Food Recovery and Distribution Hub, and purchase a truck and refrigerated trailer. These items are necessary to both expand our effort to reach more people and to better ensure the safety of the food we deliver.

Click here to donate and share this campaign with others: https://support.tricyclefarms.org/GivingTuesday2017

Help us feed more of your friends and neighbors! Support us as we work toward ending food insecurity in Northwest Arkansas.

Sincerely,

Don Bennett

Executive Director

Tri Cycle Farms

[1] https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us.aspx

[2] https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/interactive-charts-and-highlights/#States

[3] https://service.uark.edu/foodprograms/resource-files/food-insecurity-report.pdf

[4] http://www.daas.ar.gov/pdf/Senior%20Hunger%20in%20Arkansas%202014%20FINAL.pdf

[5] http://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2015/child/arkansas/county/washington

Planting a Future: Community Food Forest 2017

On Tuesday morning, June 20th, 75 volunteers from the community, the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Vitafusion, Church and Dwight, the Mars Agency, Brightwater Culinary at NWACC, and AmeriCorps NCCC and VISTA established Tri Cycle Farms’ Community Food Forest. The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation recently granted Tri Cycle 44 trees.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Tri Cycle’s Community Food Forest began with greetings from Amy at Vitafusion, Lizzie from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, and Don Bennett, Director of Tri Cycle Farms. After the ceremony was complete, volunteers were eager to get their hands in the soil. Rico Montenegro from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation taught a class on fruit tree care following the event.

In just an hour and a half, all of the fruit trees were in the ground. Volunteers planted cherry, apple, pear, and persimmon trees. These trees will come into full production of fruit within 3 years. Tri Cycle Farms welcome the years of productivity of safe, chemical free fruit to share with the community. According to 2014 US Census data, over 7,000, or 37.5%, of residents who live within a mile in each direction of Tri Cycle Farms live below the poverty level. Through this act of community cooperation, we have all taken a large step toward building a secure, accessible, and chemical-free local food system.

 

 

 

More Information about The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation:

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an award-winning international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. We strategically donate orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, at places such as public schools, city parks, community gardens, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries. Our programs help communities help themselves through the provision of orchards as long-term community assets along with training in how to care for them over time.

 

Live United Day with the Walmart Realty Group

On Friday morning, June 16th, approximately 60 volunteers from the Walmart Realty Portfolio Management Group celebrated Live United Day by serving their community at Tri Cycle Farms. Volunteers learned about the mission of Tri Cycle Farms before splitting into five different work zones: weeding garden beds near our community house, mulching in the parking zone, weeding and harvesting in the Children’s Garden, mulching and weeding in the Diversity Garden, and removing brush and trees in the Compost Zone.

This group came prepared! Volunteers brought an ATV with a trailer, which really helped in transporting the leaf piles to the new compost area as well as with hauling brush and the roots of trees that volunteers removed. A few unnecessary, non-native trees were felled by volunteers who brought a chainsaw and worked together to guide the trees to the ground, cut them into sections, and relocate the pieces. Other volunteers harvested Malabar spinach and Egyptian walking onions to free up bed space for upcoming plantings. Yet another group of volunteers contributed to our water run-off management system in the garden by filling the recently restructured walkways in the main garden with wood chips, which help to control the movement of rainwater runoff.

These 60 hard-working volunteers served alongside AmeriCorps NCCC team members, AmeriCorps VISTA service members, and Arkansas GardenCorps service members. Tri Cycle Farms appreciates all of our volunteers’ efforts and that this group took the time out of their busy schedules to help us Grow Community Through Soil!

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Live United Day with the Walmart Audit Group

Live United Day with the Walmart Audit Group

On Thursday, June 22nd, 40 volunteers from the Walmart Audit Group volunteered at Tri Cycle Farms in celebration of the United Way’s Live United Day. The original April date for Live United Day was thoroughly rained out, but June 22nd was sunny with moments of shade. Walmart Audit Group volunteers served their community alongside Tri Cycle Farms staff, AmeriCorps VISTA members, and our AmeriCorps NCCC team.

Walmart Audit Group volunteers planted six rows of healthy, chemical free vegetables, including melons, squash, herbs, and a long bed of trenched tomatoes. Volunteers also mulched areas around our new fruit trees and in newly restructured garden pathways. Helpful interns harvested and processed Egyptian walking onions as well as Malabar spinach. After weeding and planting, volunteers covered the beds in straw to protect the soil and seedlings.

Tri Cycle Farms thanks all of its Walmart Audit group volunteers! It was a humid afternoon, but you all worked diligently and stayed hydrated! We are looking forward to next year’s Live United Day! Thanks again!

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Tri Cycle Farms Welcomes AmeriCorps NCCC Team!

Tri Cycle Farms is so pleased to introduce these impressive members of the AmeriCorps NCCC Earth Team 5, who have joined us for a twelve-week period of service.  The National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time, team-based residential national service program for young adults, 18 to 24 years of age, who commit to ten months of service, benefiting communities in need at different locations across the country.

NCCC Earth Team 5 is providing essential, and very valuable labor and service in a variety of project areas at Tri Cycle Farms. These include preparing and redesigning garden beds for planting and harvest season, and to address and prevent flooding issues.  The implemented redesign and use of garden acreage is also incorporating the most efficient use of Tri Cycle’s new irrigation system, and preparing area that will be dedicated to the planting of a new orchard in late June.

We can all be proud of these eight NCCC service members, and everyone at Tri Cycle welcomes and thanks them for their teamwork, their sense of community, and the true enjoyment of meeting and working with them all!


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Ryan Aitken
AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Topeka, Kansas

Hometown: Alexandria, VA

“This service year has helped me to gain a lot of experience and to grow as a person. I think it has enabled me to experience a lot of different types of work, cultures and regions of the country that in turn have given me a broader view of the United States. On top of that the program has helped me along the way towards finishing my education. 

 Service to me is giving to people without expecting anything in return. It’s helping those who are in need because you can. To me, that ability for someone or the potential for someone to help people is something everyone should realize at some point in their lives.

One story that particular sticks with me was from when I was working last round in Topeka, KS. I had spent some of my time there helping at an organization called Let’s Help. The organization’s main functions included providing a meal, education and care packages for those who are in need. Most of their clientele consisted of individuals suffering from homelessness. One of my particular tasks one day was to fill used pill bottles with shampoo and labeling them so that different clients could have soap as part of a hygiene package. While I was doing the work it was a bit repetitive and I remember finding it very hard to focus as I filled bottle after bottle. On top of this I also remember thinking that this was a side job that I was given to keep me busy while the really important jobs were being done behind some magical curtain elsewhere. The work I was doing didn’t quite hit me until a week or so later as I was taking a shower at the YMCA. When I entered the stall I saw on the ground an empty pill bottle with the very same label I had written on it. This really resonated with me and made me realize that the repetitive task I had been doing just a few weeks earlier really did matter to someone. Not only did it matter to someone but it mattered to someone that I very possibly ran into on a daily basis. For me this was very impactful and helped me to appreciate all the work I was doing no matter how small it might have seemed to me.”


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Taylor Maximus Meidinger
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Topeka, Kansas

Hometown: Packwood, Washington

“I see my year of service in NCCC affecting my future by giving me the extensive training on how to work as a team efficiently. But also that service is and always will be a big thing in my life.  To me service means trying to help communities in any way possible, it’s a connection that is deeper than the surface because you know you are helping someone even if it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

One of the most transformational experiences this year during my time in AmeriCorps NCCC was hearing the story of a family whose house was flooded during the great flooding of the Greater Baton Rouge area. Despite all they had lost they still fed us lunch, and went on to invite us to a late lunch with them at their store later that week.”


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Logan Pace
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service:  Maysville, Oklahoma, and Topeka, Kansas

Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina

“I have the opportunity to return next year to be a Team Leader, and this service year will help me in my understanding of the program as well as strengthening my leadership abilities. Service, to me, is a way to act upon my desire to make the world a better place.  “Service is love made visible.” 

 


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Taylor Kibble
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth 5 Team Leader, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Maysville, Oklahoma with Oklahoma United Methodist Church Disaster Response, and Topeka, Kansas, with the Boys & Girls Club Teen Center.  I served as a Corps member for NCCC for 10 months in 2013-14 in Genesee, Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona, St. Louis, Missouri, and Lyons, Colorado, working on various environmental stewardship and disaster relief projects. I also served with the Corps Network in St. Louis in 2015-16 promoting outdoor volunteerism and recreation with local non-profits and parks departments.

Hometown: Portage, Indiana

“The personal and professional development gained during this service term has expanded my experience working directly with and for others.  Learning to work and collaborate with others, to make the world a little bit better for someone, is an opportunity unlike any other. With this growth I hope to continue collaborating with diverse minds, explore this world, learn new things from new people, and give all I can for others.

Service means providing assistance to others according to their needs and methods.  It is not up to us to assume what others are in need of, but important to collaborate with others to reach a more comprehensive understanding and further our knowledge regarding the diversity of our communities and cultures.      

I have had the most incredible opportunity to leads teams of dedicated, hardworking, and thoughtful young adults that I could not be more grateful for.  The times I have been most amazed are when I observe my team working hard and working together in high spirits in a variety of environments.  Watching my team work well together for the greater good of others is an awe-inspiring experience that gives me hope in others and the future of service.”


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Cara Felts
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.) Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Boys & Girls Club Teen Center in Topeka, Kansas, and Oklahoma First United Methodist Church Disaster Response in Maysville, Oklahoma.           

Hometown: Catonsville, Maryland

“I’m still unsure what I want to do as a future career, but my service year has allowed me to gain skills in a variety of areas and has opened my eyes to many different service opportunities.  To me, service is a learning experience and a way to connect with  members of a community and provide assistance to those who are in need.  One of the first experiences I had as an AmeriCorps member in the field made me confident that the service year was the right path for me. It happened during my first project round in Maysville, Oklahoma where my team was working to help restore a home that had been hit by a flood in June 2016. One of the first weeks we were there, I got to speak with the owner of the house we were working on. This woman showed tremendous appreciation and was very welcoming to my team. She told about her life which heavily involved her serving her community, and when she mentioned that her community showed little support to her after the flood I was beyond grateful to be one of people helping make her home livable once again.”


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Heather Mooney
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service:  Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Topeka, Kansas

Hometown: Kent, Washington

“This service year has helped me develop an idea of what I want to do after AmeriCorps, and has given me the experience I need to continue in my desired career. To me, service means assisting others in any possible way that I can. I now know not to go off-roading two hours after it rains in Louisiana.”

 

 


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service:  Brandy Stone
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Brazoria, Texas, and Topeka, Kansas 

Hometown: “This year has really helped me grow as a person, and it has allowed me to open up and see the things that I really want to do.

Service is the most important part of my life. I think that if I have the time, energy, and means to do so, then I should put every effort I have into helping people.

This program has allowed me to become very close with people who I might not have met otherwise.  I have been shaped greatly by the people I have been able to work with in all capacities of this service.”


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Mallory Schmackpfeffer
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Topeka, KS, and Maysville, OK!

Hometown: Rochester, New York

“This service year is letting me experience a whole range of careers in the non-profit field, teaching me countless new hard and soft skills, and exposing me to so many awesome teachers and mentors.

Service, to me, is the way that we take action. Service is the way that we show people from all walks of life that we’re there for them – that we support and love them, and that we can reach out a hand to our fellow humans even if other people won’t or can’t. This service term has over and over again strengthened my resolve to be a helper and to live my life with my heart and mind open to others.

Throughout my current service year I’ve had so many awesome experiences. One that sticks out is my team’s final week working to rebuild homes in Maysville, Oklahoma, after a flood. When we started out the round very few of us had any experience with construction work and so we were a bit clumsy around the worksite. As the weeks went on, we learned a ton about using tools properly and completing a wide range of tasks, so that by that final week, we were a well-oiled machine and it was amazing to see how far we had come. We were working together as a team so well and doing work that we were proud of! ”


Many thanks from the Tri Cycle Team to the hardworking, dedicated members of NCCC Earth Team 5! This group of thoughtful young leaders is completing three years’ worth of work in their three month stay at the farm! If you would like more information about the NCCC service year experience, check out the NCCC‘s website!