Rutherford Weekly

June 30, 2022

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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"It takes a village" is certainly the case this summer at the Rutherford County Farmers Market. The farmer sells produce, donations are made to buy the farmers' food not sold at the market, food pantries receive the fresh vegetables to donate to families and they donate the food to families across the county. Every week at the Farmers Market much of the excess produce from farmers not sold during market hours is purchased and distributed to local food pantries. Farmers who participate in the market off Park Square in Forest City have an opportunity to sell produce they have left over at the end of the market day. Money to purchase the excess food comes from the Dale Young Pantry Fund. The Dale Young Pantry Fund — through Rutherford BARN — is a way folks have donated money specifi cally to purchase locally farmed produce to donate to local food banks. The Pantry Fund was begun by Bob Young in honor of his wife Dale who passed away. The couple own Deer Valley Farm and the fund was created in order to buy the seasoned vegetables from farmers and to help others in her memory. Food pantry directors and volunteers subsequently pack the fresh produce into boxes for people in Rutherford County who are eligible for free food. The fresh produce helps with food insecurities. On Saturday, June 18, $149 was given in monetary donations and that donation purchased 71 pounds of produce for the HNGOC. The money to buy the excess produce from the farmers comes from donations. Each third Saturday a Donation Station is set up at the farmers market and donations can be made at the table that is managed by a group of volunteers. Donations can also be made by mailing checks to Rutherford BARN, P.O. Box 464, Forest City. Rutherford BARN is a nonprofi t agriculture organization. For several years, community leaders have worked on ideas to get the fresh produce to food pantries. On Saturday, June 18, the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach Center (HNGOC) was the recipient of the excess produce. "It was amazing," said HNGOC director Karen King. "A big thanks to everyone who helped and to the cooperation extension and to all who donated." King picked up the food on Saturday when the market closed and the distribution began at the Hickory Nut center on Monday morning. "Ruff'ton Roots (another community partner) also picks up the food on Saturday and stores it until distribution days at the pantries. The food gets donated along with food that they harvest from the community garden. Everybody does what they are best at," said Stephanie Rzonca, business development specialist at Rutherford County Economic Development and President of the Board of Directors for Rutherford BARN. "We wanted to make sure our farmers could get some money for their produce. Most of the money to buy the food comes from donations," she said. "At the end of the market, each time we have the donation station, the pantry that we partner with for that month sends someone to collect everything that has been donated and then they distribute it to their clients as soon as possible,' said Hannah Bundy, horticulture agent for Rutherford County Cooperative Extension. "I would add that Ruff'ton Roots tries to service all food pantries in the county," said Magnolia Long, community development director for the Town of Rutherfordton. Long is chair of the Food Insecurity Committee and was a huge catalyst for the founding and momentum of the Ruff'ton Roots Community Garden. Ruff'ton Roots is a gathering of community volunteers coming together to grow quality produce for neighbors. The goals of the project are to unite the community under a common, generous purpose; create public space to teach and learn gardening methods; offer opportunities to be a part of shaping our town's future; foster community leadership, and to lend a hand to residents in need. Those who volunteer with the Ruff'ton Roots Garden come together to sow, plant, water, weed, mulch, dig, harvest, wash and pack vegetables growing the garden next to St. Luke's Chapel in Rutherfordton at the intersection of Hospital Drive and Edwards Street. Volunteers are always invited. Donations depend on how many servings of produce are available at the end of the market day, the number of people the pantries serve, and the days the pantries accept donations. With the addition of the BARN produce donation and the expansion of Ruff'ton Roots space, more people are served through some of the larger pantries such as the Senior Center, Washburn Community Outreach, BASICS and Adaville Baptist Church. Continued on page 3. ISSUE NO. 26 • June 30, 2022 ISSUE NO. 26 • June 30, 2022 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 Our 30 th Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers BRING YOUR VEHICLE BY FOR US TO LOOK AT! NO APPRAISAL FEE CHARGED! TOP DOLLAR PAID! PAID! YOUR VEHICLE VEHICLE We Want to Buy We Want to Buy 345 South Broadway, Forest City 828-245-8067 M O O RE ' S AUTO S ALES ©communityfi rstmedia 135 West Main Street, Spindale, NC 28160 828-395-2140 New Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11am-9pm Sunday: 11am-3pm DINE IN • CARRY OUT • CATERING Food truck catering available Food truck catering available ©Community First Media Community First Media SUNDAY DINNER SUNDAY DINNER SPECIAL SPECIAL Meat, 2 Vegetables When a Village comes together Rutherford When a Village comes together Rutherford residents receive free fresh produce residents receive free fresh produce Article by Jean Gordon. Rutherford BARN board President Stephanie Rzonca (right) and board member and Ruffton Roots leader Magnolia Long pack up fresh produce donations to transport to the Ruff'ton Roots facility at the close of the Saturday farmers market. (Contributed photo) Volunteers working the Ruff'ton Roots Community Garden. (Contributed photo) WE WILL WE WILL BE CLOSED BE CLOSED MONDAY, MONDAY, JULY 4TH JULY 4TH

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