At the Black Hills Farmers Market meeting April 18 three people were honored for their support of what was once the Food Share program and became the Food Independence Program.
Dale Casteel proudly shows his award at the Black Hills Farmers Market Meeting.
Food Share, a DLFN 2011 project, involved three volunteers who raised money in the community to buy fresh produce and take donated food from the Black Hills Farmers Market and give it to agencies that serve low-income people. It was a huge success. Farmers sold more produce and didn’t have to take unsold perishables home, and low-income people received fresh high quality food. In 2012 Western SD Community Action, a local organization that serves the poor, took over the program. Community Action hired a full-time coordinator for the program and applied for grant money so they could purchase more food and expand beyond giving food away to educating people to be food independent.
At the Community action facility in Rapid City a high tunnel for gardening classes is under construction, and gardening classes are being scheduled.
Nicole Krautschun and April Yenglin receive their award from Western South Dakota Community Action.
The three honorees at the BHFM meeting have been strong supporters of the Food Share/Food Independence Program. Two years ago at the BHFM meeting when the Food Share idea was first proposed, Dale Casteel of DC Gardens said, ”Great idea! Let’s do it!” Inspired by his enthusiasm the market came on board and has participated ever since. Dale, famous for his colorful peppers and eggplants, donated 1744 pounds of those vegetables plus cucumbers and squash in 2012.
Nicole Krautschun, owner of Spearfish Valley Produce, and her manager April Yenglin, in 2012 donated 2432 pounds of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and squash. When asked why they would give their food away, Nicole said, “We don’t want it to go to waste—we want people to get it.”