The community identified the need for increasing healthy food, and food for the hungry in the community.
Farm to Table and Farm to School programs target local growers and gets their produce into the restaurants and school systems around Denham Springs. The secondary and tertiary effect include educating our youth on the importance of eating fresh produce and supporting local farmers. Food distribution programs already exist in Denham Springs, but there is a need to determine the unmet needs for households facing food insecurity. The goal is to provide support for current programs to grow and new programs to develop.
The desired outcomes for this project are…
- Reducing hunger in the community
- Establishing a process to distribute food and other items post-disaster
- Schools and restaurants having an abundance of fresh food
- Farmers having outlets to sell their produce locally
- Community members understanding the importance of healthy food and supporting the local economy
- Identifying local farmers and their capacity to provide crops to schools/restaurants
- Joining the Louisiana Farm to School Alliance
- Determining interest and feasibility in a Farm to School Program
This project also supports:
- Improved Economic resiliency
- Improved Local Health
- Education of Youth
- Bus Project – Give new life to a retired school bus to function as a hot and cold mobile meals program. The bus will travel to identified neighborhoods where hunger is an issue at least once a week to provide a comfortable place for kids to enjoy a meal around the bus. The bus will have storage to carry additional basic needs items on a rotating basis.
- Feeding Young Minds – Expand a summer pilot program connecting food and libraries. Every Wednesday food will be distributed at the Main Branch of the Livingston Parish Library. Plans are underway to expand to all Livingston Parish Libraries to serve food at least once a week. Kids will be energized with a full stomach as they take advantage of Library learning opportunities.
- We else would you like to see? We need you to help solve the hunger problem!
Possible Funding Sources, Technical Assistance, and Partners:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- USDA Food and Nutrition Services Programs
- Mighty Moms
- U.S. DHHS, Food and Drug Administration
- Boo Grigsby Foundation
- MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
- Panera Bread Foundation
- Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants
Estimated Timeline: Medium term (1-3 years)
Estimated Cost: Low (<$100k)
During the second community meeting, participants ranked this project at 9.50 out of 10 with respect to level of importance, which made it the 4th most important project out of 25.