Some friends and I toured Marion-Polk Food Share today. We talked with staff and volunteers, and we had a lunch made by their chef. It was very impressive. In addition to distributing almost 10 million pounds of food every year, and serving tens of thousands of hungry kids in our community, they happen to be one of the most innovative food banks in the country. They are addressing hunger from both sides–distributing food while also looking at some of the root causes of food scarcity. Did you know they’ve started over 50 community gardens in Marion and Polk counties? That’s more than all the other food banks in the rest of the state combined. They have their own 250-acre farm, they teach self-sufficiency skills (including nutrition, gardening, and cooking), they are promoting edible landscapes, and they are one of only two food banks in the country to have completely restructured their inventory to focus on nutrition. It was all quite moving.
Marion-Polk Food Share Tour