In an hour and a half, on a September morning, seven food pantries and food service organizations shared in receiving 500 pounds of forested pork and 1500 pounds of pastured chicken for the hundreds of individuals and families they serve in Fayetteville.
Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative provided the donation and reached out to Tri Cycle Farms to partner in coordinating its delivery. The efficiency of providing such a volume of high quality meats to hundreds in need, through seven pantries, within four days of planning and distribution, was a most satisfying success.
This is the first of a continuing collaboration between Grass Roots Farmers and Tri Cycle in support of Tri Cycle’s plans for building a community-centered food hub and “Neighborhood Commons” network.
Tri Cycle Farms has been working to establish cooperative systems for addressing food insecurity, with increasing development of a food recovery program and coordination with neighboring food pantries and community food programs. The Grass Roots donation on September 28 went to support The Dwelling Place Church, Sang Avenue Baptist Church Food Pantry, Washington Plaza Residents Council Food Bank, Trinity United Methodist Church Food Pantry and Sunday Supper Program, the Seven Hills Homeless Day Center, and Tri Cycle Farms’ volunteers.
Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative is a group of small-scale Arkansas farms that have teamed up to share resources so they can deliver high quality foods more easily to conscientious consumers. All Grass Roots farmers are committed to sustainably raising livestock on clean pastures using methods that benefit the animals and the land on which they graze. And all Grass Roots meats are free of antibiotics, growth hormones and GMOs.
“We are so grateful for the caring generosity and support of Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative,” said Don Bennett, Tri Cycle Farms founder and director. “We’re excited about the significant difference this quality food, in this substantial amount, will make for literally hundreds of families who are served by our neighborhood area food pantries, week in and week out.”
Of their donation, Cody Hopkins, general manager of Grass Roots, and farmer at Falling Sky Farm in Leslie, Arkansas said, “Food insecurity is an issue of particular importance to me. I grew up in rural Arkansas and my family needed government assistance programs to supplement many of our meals. I think I speak for all Grass Roots farmers when I say that we believe that everyone – no matter his or her socioeconomic status – has a right to healthy food.”