Farm to Community Program Now Open to Qualified Families for 2019

Farm to Community Blog

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community

After a successful first year, the Town of Mountain Village is pleased to announce an expanded Farm to Community Program for summer 2019.

The program will offer up to 60 qualified Mountain Village families a food share box of locally farmed produce and food items for 14-weeks at a minimal cost.

The Farm to Community Program was launched in summer of 2018 and initially offered 48 families and 60 residents more than 4,500 pounds of fresh, local food to residents over the course of nine weeks for just a $35 application fee.

In 2019, the Mountain Village Town Council voted to increase funding for the program which can now accommodate 60 families and up to 100 people. The program will also run five weeks longer this summer.

“Qualifications are no longer strictly based on income, and for the 2019 season, families (comprised of at least one parent and one or more dependents) who live in deed-restricted housing are invited to apply,” said Zoe Dohnal, the town’s business development and community engagement coordinator.

Mountain Village residents who live in deed-restricted housing are invited to review qualification requirements and to apply for the program.

“We are really excited about the continued enthusiasm and regional support for this program,” said Michelle Haynes, Mountain Village’s planning and development services director.

“The enthusiasm extends from participants, town staff, farm partners, regional groups and organizations up to the Town Council and local visitors who see a greater local food presence at our Market on the Plaza,” Haynes continued.

Mountain Village is partnering once again with Norwood’s Fresh Food Hub as well as Mountain Roots Produce based in Mancos to supply the shares. Indian Ridge is one of the Fresh Food Hub’s suppliers and will provide eggs to the shares this year.

The Fresh Food Hub will have shares available for pick up at this summer’s Market on the Plaza (each Wednesday in Heritage Plaza June 19-Aug. 28). And Mountain Roots will set up at Village Court Apartments in the afternoons each Wednesday allowing participants to choose their farm share vegetables.

“We are so lucky to have such amazing farmer partners,” Dohnal said. “Each partner is incredibly passionate about providing fresh produce to a part of the community that might not otherwise have access to locally grown produce.”

For residents who do not qualify for the Farm to Community Program, the Fresh Food Hub is also offering to deliver farm shares for pick up at the Market on the Plaza for $35 per box.

“What I find most exciting about this program is that we can now offer low-cost, local, healthy food options for our community, while also promoting our local farmers, food providers, and the Mountain Village farmer’s market,” said Mountain Village Mayor Laila Benitez. “The quality and quantity of offerings at the Market on the Plaza have been amazing since the launch of this program, and we look forward to an even more robust market this summer.”

The Farm to Community program was first proposed by Haynes and brought to the Town’s Green Team Committee. The Green Team is dedicated to town-wide conservation measures and was unanimously in favor of this program because it supports local agriculture and reduces the distance food is transported to the community.

The Green Team then presented it to Town Council as a climate action plan measure and Council initially voted to approve program funding in April of 2018.

“I want to thank Michelle Haynes, Zoe Dohnal, and the Green Team for the countless hours and relentless dedication they have invested into making this program available to our community,” Benitez said. For more information and to apply, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/farm-to-community.