Articles, Blog

Cultivate KC Nutrition Incentive Programs

November 19, 2019

So our mission is to grow food farms and communities in support of a healthy, local food system with food access for all. Basically what that means is that we believe that food needs to be grown locally and that everybody needs to have access to it. Cultivate has what I think of as a systems-based approach to growing our local food system. So when we grow a New Roots for Refugees farmer and that farmer becomes a farm business owner and starts selling at farmers markets, they have access to a market through the Double Up Food Bucks program and through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition program coupons that help them grow their business. So it is a way of really deepening impact and really effectively leveraging dollars and leveraging program missions. So one mission helps the other. One mission helps and back again. They help each other. If I had had Double Up Food Bucks when I was in college, it would have been enormously helpful because I struggled. I always say that if I had five cents left in my name I knew exactly that I had five cents left in my name I knew how many pennies, how many dollars I had. I stretched things really well and to be able to get twice the amount of food for the same amount of money would have been tremendously helpful. I was a single mom in the 80s and I was also putting myself through college. I had small children, and I didn’t have much money and I was in school in Illinois at one point and they had WIC program which allowed me to get milk and dairy products and things like that which I don’t remember there being any kind of option at the farmers market I don’t even actually remember many farmers markets in the 80s. They were pretty few and far between. In setting up this program it allows a farmer to be in partnership with the low-income families that come to the farmers market. They get to engage with them around how do you eat this, how do you prepare it, what’s high in nutrition so the farmer gets to become part of the solution to a social problem. The net benefit is that both sides of the equation are really are pleased with the transaction and feel good about it and Along the way there is a local economy growing and a local community being built. The future of local food is restaurants, stores, product producers working more and more closely with local farmers because I think we all have a lot of the same goals in mind and the more we work together the better job we do of telling the story behind the food which is so important. For me, going to a farmers market is creative inspiration. I think it’s exciting to have fresh produce. My mother grew up on a farm. My grandparents are farmers so I think that passed down to me that love of, you know, a fresh whatever. Tomato, melon, anything. We all eat. We all need to eat well. We all need to eat healthfully. We all should have the right to know who grew our food and how they grew it. Cultivate is working on an issue that really brings people together. Can help them feel really good and really empowered and positive about their community and I am happy that we are working for the side of good in the world. and for the side of good in Kansas City

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