Fresh Produce Programs Continue through Winter

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COLUMBIA - A local grocery store told KOMU 8 Wednesday this is the first year it will be continuing the "Missouri Bounty Box" program through the winter. The Root Cellar started this program as a way to support local agriculture by purchasing locally grown produce, boxing it and selling the boxes to the community. 

Owner Jake Davis said the store has contracts with multiple farmers in Missouri, which allow it to add diversity and volume to the amount of produce it gets. Davis said the winter is sometimes a hard time to get a lot of produce, so the contracts allow the store to continue to get the produce it needs.

Davis also said this program helps the farmers as well. He said normally, the farmers lose money because they have to go through middleman in order to get their produce in stores. The Root Cellar buys directly from the farmers, and has the produce shipped to its store, where workers clean and sort it. By doing this, Davis said the farmers are able to pocket 50 to 60 percent of the food dollar, where as if they went through the middleman, they would only get 11 to 12 percent.

Davis said he has seen a great response to the program being extended. The Root Cellar is selling its limit of boxes now, which is currently 100 a week, for $30. Davis said he has a waiting list for more.