The next LocalShare Pay-What-You-Can Community Dinner is set for Sunday, April 7, 2013, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Manna House in Newton. Please RSVP to say you will join us!
The Foodshed Alliance has an exciting new program that connects local, organic and naturally grown food with people in need. This new program is called LocalShare and it had a successful kickoff this past July, when we served 200 community members at an amazing Community Dinner consisting of wonderfully fresh, healthy and organic food grown within our region.
LocalShare is based on the idea that local organic, naturally grown food should be accessible to all people in our community, regardless of means. Uniquely, the cost to attend the dinner is “Pay What You Can.” We simply say, “Give more if you can, less if you can’t. No one is turned away for lack of funds.”
This approach makes it comfortable for all members in our community to attend and we had guests from all economic backgrounds literally breaking bread together. For many, it is the first introduction to what organic food is, while for others it is a way to give back to the community. For everyone, it is a wonderful meal and a joyous time out.
That having been said, the goal of the LocalShare program is to not only offer periodic community dinners but to take it a step further and establish ways to connect the local food producers to food pantries and those in need. The Foodshed Alliance LocalShare program is in the process of organizing volunteers who will routinely take surplus or unsellable food from farms to food pantries, who can get it to the people who need it.
Our first community meal– prepared by the community for the community–was held on Sunday, July 22, at the Manna House in Newton. We got a tremendous response and offers of volunteer help from chefs, farms, food pantries and organizations willing to host the community event. It is our vision that the community meal will be where local food, talent and service will be celebrated and each person pays whatever they could: “More if you can, less if you can’t; no one turned away for lack of funds.”
- Wheatberry Bean Salad
- Cucumber Salad
- Sesame Ginger Slaw
- Potato Salad with roasted onions
- Corn Relish
- Marinated String Bean and(other Veg)
- Braised Greens with Wurst
- Spice Rubbed Grilled Chicken
- Roasted Duck with Lentils and Corn
- Roasted Pork Loin with Mustard Herb Crust
- Beer Brined Fresh Ham with Cherry Onion Chutney
- Biscotti and Cannoli Pie
- Summer Berry Crisp (with Ice Cream)
- Alstede Farms
- Apple Ridge Farm
- Arena Farm
- Churutabis Farm
- Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm
- Daly’s Garden
- Fossil Farms
- Glenmalure Farms
- Harmony Starts
- Kittatinny Farm
- L.L. Pittenger Farm
- Little Big Farm
- Maria’s Biscotti
- Mini Mac Farm
- Mosefund Farm
- Poplar Wood Farm
- Rene Mathez and Michelle St. Andre
- Walnut Grove Farm
Thank you to Whole Foods Market who came on board to support this initiative program and helped to stock our pantry with the necessary items that could not be obtained locally. We look forward to a continued partnership.
These amazing chefs and their helpers made it all happen deliciously!
|Donations are accepted and any contributions will support the efforts of the LocalShare program. Future dinners are in the works; you can help make them happen! Donate Now|
- Volunteers organize community meals serving that food.
- These community meals, open to all on a pay-what-you-can basis, are a celebration of community and can be regularly scheduled monthly, bi-monthly or weekly events, depending on response and support from the community.
- Any food not used by the community meals will be donated to food pantries.
Issue being addressed: “Hunger in America exists for nearly 49 million people. That is 1 in 6 of the U.S. population – including more than 1 in 5 children.”
–Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity
According to New Jersey food banks and hunger relief agencies, food needs of “food insecure” families and individuals have grown as much as 45% more than previous years. All food banks, pantries and homeless shelters have seen an increase of at least 20% in the last year.
Unreported numbers are of equal concern. Many families and individuals do not qualify for assistance because they live between the statistics. These are people that face choosing between paying their electric bill and buying food. For this reason, LocalShare gives assistance to everyone who requests it.
Grow! Area organic farmers and gardeners volunteer to grow and harvest extra food to donate to LocalShare.
Gleen! Volunteers will help harvest local farmers’ overages and rescue “imperfect” unsaleable produce. We will work with local meat providers willing to donate to the cause and accept donations from ShopRite, Whole Foods Market, etc. to help complete and round out meals.
Grub! Local area chefs will be recruited to prepare the food for community meals—wholesome, fresh, gourmet-quality organic/naturally grown fare. Community meals would be widely promoted as a community celebration, open to all, on a pay-what-you-can basis.
“Give more if you can, less if you can’t. No one is turned away for lack of funds.”
These meals, on a Sunday afternoon or evening in a donated space such as church basement or community center, will be open not only to people in need but to people from throughout the community. We envision entertainment, such as local musicians, to add to the festive atmosphere of sharing and community. Volunteers will help set up, serve and clean up the space. The first community meal was held Sunday, July 22, at the Manna House in Newton.
Give! While the overall mission of LocalShare is to connect people in need with organic or naturally grown, healthy locally produced food, it is also designed to raise awareness and educate people about our current food system’s “quality vs. quantity” dilemma. By involving people from all sectors of our community, we hope to heighten awareness of socio-economic issues as well as the importance of supporting and preserving local farms.
Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect
Please join in our mission to connect our communities in need with the healthy food that we all require. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.