The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 16, 2014

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Double-barreled effort brings fresh produce to local food pantry just before the holidays

WOODSTOCK - In its ongoing commitment to support the Woodstock Community Food Shelf and assist its neighbors in time of need, the Woodstock Farmers' Market this year again is contributing fresh, seasonal produce to the local food pantry, which last year saw an increase in food distributions of more than 20 percent.
The Woodstock Farmers' Market donations of fresh produce are made possible by the generous contributions of its customers, which are matched dollar-for-dollar by the market. The effort is now called "Penny Power" and with additional support from the Woodstock Merchants' Produce Fund, initiated by Nick Ferro, owner of Ferro Jewelers, the effort is now a double-barreled one with coordinated contributions from many other local businesses Woodstock.
"We have been making a big push to get produce for our guests," said Bev Regan, a Food Shelf board member. "Prior to the contributions of the Farmers' Market and others, we had very little produce."
"It's a win-win," said Steve Moyer, co-owner and CFO of Woodstock Farmers' Market. "We are well-known for our produce and we know where there is value added due to a product's abundance and seasonality. We use our know-how and relationships for buying power."
According to Moyer the best produce to purchase are staples that have longer shelf life such as apples, yams, squash and onions. "We deliver more perishable items such as lettuce when the price is right."
This is the eighth year the market has provided items for the Food Shelf. Prior to providing fresh produce, it contributed canned and dry goods, many of which were donated by market customers. But lack of space prompted Woodstock Farmers' Market to look for an alternative way to support the Food Shelf.
For more info about the program visit the Food Shelf website at woodstockfoodshelf.org or www.woodstockfarmersmarket.com.