Having easy access to fresh, locally-produced produce can often depend on where you live, or if you have enough free time to attended events like the Iowa City Farmers Market. But starting next week, two nonprofits will be working together to make fresh fruit and vegetables more accessible to underserved areas of Johnson County.
CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank and Field to Family will collaborating this summer to promote healthier eating through the use of fresh produce. CommUnity is buying locally-produced fruit and vegetables from Field to Family, which will be provided in the food packages delivered to families in underserved areas of Johnson County by its mobile food pantries.
“When pantries are able to procure local food in bulk, it’s a win-win for farmers and community members facing barriers to access,” Michelle Kenyon, director of Field to Family, said in a statement announcing the collaboration.
The two nonprofits will also partner for five special events in Iowa City. Field to Family staff will be providing free samples at five CommUnity mobile pantry stops. There will also be kid-friendly educational activities.
• July 13, 4-5:30 p.m. at Cole’s Community, 2254 Riverside Dr.
• July 14, 4-5:30 p.m. at Breckenridge Estates, 4494 Taft Ave SE
• July 22, 4-5:30 p.m. at Regency Mobile Home Community, 4455 Oak Crest Hill Rd SE
• Aug 6, 1-3 p.m. at Modern Manor, 2 Apollo Pl.
• Aug.12, 5-6 p.m. at Forest View Mobile Court, 1205 Laura Dr.
“These events will allow clients to choose from a larger variety of items in an accessible way. Clients appreciate the quality of the produce and the opportunity to learn about food education from Field to Family,” Liz Detrick, mobile pantry supervisor for CommUnity, said.
All five events are free and open to the public.
The collaboration is being supported by funding from the Johnson County Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition to its mobile pantries, CommUnity has a community food pantry in Iowa City’s Pepperwood Plaza (1045 Hwy 6 East). The 11,000 sq. ft. facility allows people to select their own items, and in addition to meat, vegetables and fruit, also carries other essentials such as diapers, toilet paper and dog food.
The pantry’s hours of operation are:
Monday: noon – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: noon – 7 p.m.
Wednesday: noon – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: noon – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Field to Family’s online famers market launched a delivery service in June. Free deliveries of orders through CHOMP Delivery are for customers in Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Hills, Lone Tree, Tiffin, Swisher, Shueyville, Solon and West Branch. The delivery option is on the Field to Family online ordering site for its farmers market, and customers can choose it as their “pick-up location” as they are checking out.