Farmshed's Food Policy
Central Rivers Farmshed is a non-profit organization and a free local food distribution center. We serve our community seasonal, cultural, local, and fresh foods to minimize the accessibility gap between fresh food access and socioeconomic status. All of our donated produce is sourced directly from family owned, small, new, and/or socially marginalized farms in the central Wisconsin area. We have built partnerships with farms through providing grant writing technical support. In exchange we receive a portion of their harvest to donate to community members of various ethnic backgrounds and low income status. Our distribution is available for individuals and families who fall under the income eligibility established by The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Our self-determining income process, pre-packed bags, and self-serve service allows for quick and easy access to our distribution.
With the seasonality of agriculture, our recipients will receive a variety of produce throughout the year. When Wisconsin’s growing season ends in winter, we will transition from fresh local produce to frozen produce that will be distributed from January to May. The produce will be processed and frozen at peak ripeness during the summer season, maintaining its nutrient content and taste. Additionally, they will receive the produce preprocessed, making these bags a convenient, fast cooking ingredient. Participants therefore will have the opportunity to choose local, whole produce year round in Wisconsin.
Central Rivers Farmshed also offers a hot, cultural meal program from September to May for Hmong elders in the Stevens Point and Plover area and lunches to Hmong teens during the school year at Stevens Point Area High School. These meals are delivered directly to the school and homes, made with ingredients that are local or sourced from Hmong farmers. Meals are delivered once a week by volunteers and cooked in Farmshed’s kitchen.
Farmshed fills a unique role in the food distribution network by being dedicated to ensuring that local farmers benefit economically and our communities eat healthy by prioritizing local, fresh produce in our distributions. The financial burden to purchase fresh produce is relieved by receiving 2-3 days of produce to supplement groceries during the week allowing individuals and families, who may be missing essential nutrients, to be more able to practice diet recommendations for a healthy, thriving life.
Healthy people 2030
In 2021, Central Rivers Farmshed became a Champion in the Office of Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion's Healthy People 2030. The mission of the program is to promote, strengthen, and evaluate the nation's efforts to improve health and well-being of all people.
Farmshed is working towards that mission in several program objectives including: safe food handling, nutrition and health eating, health of older adults, and health of the workforce. We mainly achieve these goals through our food security programs.
To learn more about the Healthy People 2030 program, click here.
Looking to contribute to our cause? Make a donation below or reach out to our Executive Director for information on how you can support our programs and community health efforts.