A year after beginning a consistent schedule of picking up food and commodity items from Whole Foods Market three days a week, the program expanded to five days. Click here to read about food insecurity, waste, and the beginning of our food recovery program. In general, we have five volunteers per day to transport, sort and deliver the items to our partners, which include LifeSource International, Seeds That Feed and 7Hills Homeless Center. Most days we can get it all in two SUVs, but occasionally we need three to four SUVs to transport all the items we recover in a safe and timely manner.
Working the Food Recovery Program brings a mixed bag of emotions for volunteers, most of whom are food insecure themselves. Tri Cycle Farms’ third share initiative ensures they also have access to the recovered food and commodities. The excitement and relief from having access to high quality, healthy food that would ordinarily be out of budget is equaled and often surpassed by feelings of exhilaration that come from helping others as well as the, sometimes overwhelming, sadness that there is such a need in our community.
Last month Tri Cycle Farms was awarded a grant from Whole Cities Foundation that will assist in the efforts to meet that need. We applied for the grant, which is for $5000, on the advisement of the Community Liaison at Whole Foods Market Fayetteville, Allison Chilcote. Allison has been a great help to Tri Cycle Farms and we really appreciate her support and that of Whole Foods Market.
Photo by Claire Marie Cosmos
The funds from the Whole Cities Foundation grant will help purchase a 6 X 12 double axle refrigerated trailer that will be used to transport the recovered food instead of using personal vehicles. We feel this trailer is the best way to address any potential food safety concerns, to reduce our carbon footprint, and to save wear and tear on our own personal vehicles. One trip with this trailer is all it will take to collect and transport everything we recover from Whole Foods Market.
But the trailer is only part of the equation. We will also need a four-door truck with the capacity to pull the loaded trailer and to carry up to four volunteers. The grant will cover about half the cost of the trailer, so we still need to match those funds and find sponsors to raise enough money to also buy the truck.
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!
Here we go!
The #TriCycleFarms Team
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!!
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
- 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
Student volunteers from the University of Arkansas worked to improve the lives of others as a part of Make a Difference Day.
Food security is defined as “…all people at all times having enough food for an active, healthy life.” 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. 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%; about 40% of Arkansans aged 60 or older are living with food insecurity; and approximately 23% of children in Washington County are at risk. 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.
Tri Cycle Farms
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.
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.
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!