Give It Fresh Today
A typical Sunday in Summit from April through November involves a trip to the farmers market. Farm vendors from around the state come with their produce and other fresh foods.
For the past nine years this farmers market has had a unique feature, the G.I.F.T. Table. This GIFT stands for Give It Fresh Today. It is an opportunity for market shoppers to donate fresh purchases from the market. Additionally, GIFT representatives solicit monetary donations and then purchase the produce GRACE needs for the week from farm vendors.
Vendors also assess any surplus they have at the end of the market and donate what they can spare. By the close of each market Sunday, vendors deliver hundreds of pounds of recently harvested seasonal produce to the GIFT table. Volunteers then deliver all the produce to GRACE’s headquarters for distribution.
In prepare of distribution some of the produce goes into bags that get pre-packed. Some of the more unique varieties, items like herbs or heirloom varietals of peppers or greens or squash get put aside. Also, produce which we only have in small amounts, like black raspberries or mushrooms, will go on the choice table for the 200-plus households who come to the Cornog Field House to pick up their food and supplies.
The choice table features special items from the GIFT table, the community garden, or other special donations and purchases, as a special present to those who can be present at our distribution. Recently we have been able to give a variety of herbs, heirloom tomatoes, mini watermelon, and peppers much to the recipients’ glee.
Carmen, who has been a part of the GRACE community for a few years, says, “I love getting bags of fresh vegetables for my husband and my babies. Getting to choose what my family most wants is even better. I really appreciate how we get a good variety of fresh food we would not be able to buy.”
About the Grantee
GRACE stands for Giving and Receiving Assistance for our Community’s Essentials. While essentials can mean nutrient-dense food, we also aspire to enable the security, stabilization and success for all our community’s households.