Columbia's Urban Farm grows fresh produce for mid-Missouri food pantries
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri food pantries are beginning to see fresh produce on their shelves this spring, thanks to organizations like the Columbia Urban Farm.
All the food grown at the farm is donated to local hunger relief outlets.
Development Director for the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture Adam Saunders said volunteers at the urban farm delivered its first batch of fresh produce of the spring to the Central Pantry in early April.
"To get access to that fresh produce is important for their health and the health of their families," Saunders said. "It's a little thing we can do to make sure that the food that is available is highly nutritious and is helping to provide a round balanced diet."
Saunders said last year the Urban farm donated more than 16,000 pounds of produce to the food pantry.
The Director of Programs of The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri Eric Maly said the urban farm supplies the food pantry with fresh food, whereas other donations from chain supply stores give the pantry food that may not always be edible.
"Fresh produce affects the food pantry in a way that provides dignity to the people who are there to get food," Maly said. "Sometimes at the Central Pantry we don't always receive produce at its healthiest point, so CCUA is kind of the answer to that."
The donation of fresh produce is made possible through the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture's planting for the pantry program.
Individuals, businesses, and clubs are able to sponsor a row at the urban farm. The sponsorship helps the farm plant, harvest and deliver the fresh produce to the food pantries.