NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - There is a new way for the community to support local farmers and help food security efforts.
The New Hanover County Cooperative Extension is launching Donation Stations at local farmers’ markets.
Here’s how it works: shoppers will be able to buy fresh produce from local farmers and vendors and then donate it at a station or they can donate money which will be used to by produce at the market. At the end of each market, that donated food will be given to local food pantries in the area.
“The idea is that it’s a win-win for everybody," says Morgan Marshall, the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent with NHC Cooperative Extension. “So we’re not asking for a discounted rate on produce; we’re giving the farmers the full amount of what their produce is worth. We’re not giving food pantry clients that B-grade, second-hand produce. They’re getting produce that looks like it came from a farmers’ market.”
The Donation Stations will be at the Wilmington Farmers Market at Tidal Creek and the Poplar Grove Farmers Market. They will be there on the first and third Saturdays and Wednesdays of each month from now through September.
“It’s nice because people coming in that are donating can also see that their dollar is being used that day, at that market,” says Marshall. “So it’s not going to a different market, or a different farmer.”
Community members are also encouraged to volunteer to help with the program; just stop by a donation station table or call Extension Area Agent Morgan McKnight at 910-798-7660 to learn more.