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Farmington Food Shelf is looking for fresh greens

Gardening is something of an all-or-nothing process. In the early weeks, gardeners sit and wait for seeds to sprout. A couple of weeks later, they don’t know what to do with all of the vegetables coming out of the ground.

Kris Akin from the Farmington Food Shelf has a suggestion for what to do with all of that extra produce: donate it.

As Farmington becomes more culturally diverse, many families served by the food shelf are looking for fresh greens, vegetables and herbs for their cooking, Akin said. The problem is, the food shelf doesn’t always have a lot of fresh produce available.

“When they come in and we don’t have those things, and we show them a can of spinach instead, we can tell they’re used to using fresh produce,” she said.

Residents have donated excess produce in the past, and Akin hopes there will be more donations coming this year.

The food shelf has not received a lot of donations of fresh produce so far this year, she said. But that’s mostly because this year’s cool and rainy weather seems to have stunted the growth of area gardens.

When the fresh produce comes in, though, it doesn’t stay on the shelves for long.

“In the past when we have had residents bring in excess produce, it flew off our shelves,” Akin said. “That’s why we wanted to remind our contributors that they’re very much appreciated by some of our families.”

The Farmington Food Shelf receives donations of produce from a local grocery store, but sometimes the produce arrives a bit bumped and bruised. Families who get produce from the food shelf prefer the fresh produce, Akin said.

Farmington Community Education’s community garden also has a lot assigned to grow food for the local food shelf, but that garden has not started to produce yet.

The food shelf is located at the Farmington School District Instructional Services Center, 510 Walnut St. It is open to families on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations can be made by entering the doors on Fifth Street. Fresh produce is immediately shared with families visiting the food shelf.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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