Did you know that Vrdnt Farms has a produce donation program?
Hopefully it doesn’t come as news to you that so many in our community are food insecure. Central Texas is home to an incredible network of food banks that work hard to get calories into bellies. The types of food often donated, and then circulated, however, can often include a large amount of pre-packaged and processed items. There’s plenty of wholesome, nutritious food being donated, too, but even then - the availability of fresh produce is always slim, and when there is fresh food available, the shelf life is incredibly short and the quality sometimes poor.
Federal programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) offer incentives to buy fresh produce through their “doubling” program that doubles the assistance spent when shopping for fresh produce. Several of Austin’s local farmers’ markets even process these SNAP dollars, making it possible for those battling with food insecurity to shop for produce that is not only fresh, but locally grown as well. And yet despite each and every one of these local organizations and federal programs, there is still so much more we can do here, in our very own backyard. There are still individuals in our community making tough decisions, daily, about how to pay for food to feed themselves and their children. As farmers, we certainly see it as our duty to share as much of our harvest as we’re able to with those around us.
Vrdnt Donation Program
Since June (when we started counting), we’ve donated around 400 lbs of excess produce to our community. Sometimes, we stock one of the Atx Free Fridges. This network of fridges around town offers free, nutritious food to anyone who needs it. If you’re ever swimming in Vrdnt produce yourself, you can always drop off a leftover bunch of kale to one of these locations.
We also regularly send donations to the Saffron Trust Women's Foundation - a local organization working to break the cycle of generational poverty caused by systemic inequality. The organization accomplishes this by helping women find stability, education, and resources to make sure they and their children thrive. At Saffron, our produce is distributed along with the meals they give out every day. We’re very excited to announce that we now have a way for you to contribute to the donations at Saffron, as well.
How you Can Help
You can now purchase a bag of produce for Saffron Trust through our flexible booking page. (Scroll to the bottom.) If you’re already a flexible pickup customer, you can book a donation share online as you would any other delivery. If you’re a recurring CSA customer, just email Erin and let her know how many shares you’d like to donate from your subscription - firstname.lastname@example.org . As the busy holiday and travel season approaches, donating your share instead of delaying it is a wonderful idea that will help create a more nutritious plate for someone in your community.
Know Someone who Needs Food?
Like our farm itself, we’re growing our small but mighty donation program. We’re looking for a few additional recipients of produce donations, specifically of an organization that might be able to use our “imperfect” produce - that which doesn’t meet wholesale or CSA beauty standards, but is still highly nutritious(like the cucumbers & collards pictured above!). Do you know an organization that could use some Vrdnt veg to help feed our community? Help us find a home for ugly, but delicious, produce! Please email Erin with any ideas - email@example.com.
Our donation program hopes to help address not just the problem of food insecurity, but also that of nutrition insecurity. We’ve heard first hand from shelters and individual recipients how incredible it feels to receive fresh produce that is locally grown. This is the good stuff! We hope you’ll consider helping us grow our donation program by purchasing a share for Saffron Trust or even donating a share on someone’s behalf- it makes an awesome gift!
As always, thanks for reading and supporting the farm. Be well!