(877)TEX-MEAL
Reclaiming Local Produce

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Farmers and farmers market sometimes have excess produce they are willing to donate for distribution within a community. SFSP and SSO program operators’ support of families in need, can be enhanced by discussing with a local farmer or farmers market their capability for distributing reclaimed fruits and vegetables to families participating in the summer nutrition programs. 

Example in Texas

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Food Gleaning Project, East Texas Community Food Coalition, Tyler

Carmen Sosa, Rose City Farmers Market Director, and Debra Marshall with the Texas Hunger Initiative – Tyler Regional Office, developed a community partnership to collect donated produce from area farmers for distribution at summer meal program sites.

Ms. Sosa worked with the farmers she knew and found they were willing to donate the produce they did not sell at the farmers market to families who could use it. Ms. Marshall helped identify summer meal  program sites, knowing the locations were the perfect distribution points for the donated fruits and vegetables. Records of how much produce was collected from farmers and given to families quickly illustrated the initiative’s success. 

Families appreciated the produce and children were excited to try new fruits and vegetables and learn about healthy eating habits. At the same time, farmers were happy to see their produce not going to waste. At the end of the summer initiative, 100 percent of participating farmers responded that they did not want to be paid for the donated produce items. 

Pairing this produce reclamation project with the summer meals program offered a perfect opportunity to connect families participating in the summer meals program with local, fresh fruits and vegetables.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 
 (1) mail: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
 
 (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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