'Pay what you can' produce program expands to 5 neighborhoods

Fresh and affordable produce can sometimes be hard to come by, but one neighborhood group is trying to make it easier in some areas.

Fresh affordable produce can sometimes be hard to come by, especially when you don't have a grocery store in your neighborhood. 9NEWS found, one neighborhood group is trying to undo that problem.

Having fresh produce available for anybody is something Emily Olsen, coordinator of the Fresh Food Connect Program is pushing for.

“We get lots of the big veggies, and it allows home gardeners to donate fresh produce from their own gardens or their community gardens,” said Olsen.

She said people need it to keep veggies from becoming trash.

“Neighbors stop answering their door because they don't want anymore zucchini and kids stop wanting to eat it,” Olsen said.

Gardeners can let them know when they have produced by using their app but they get a large amount here at the West Washington Park Community Garden.

“They have donated over 4-500 lbs. of produce,” Olsen said.

That's just in the past few months and they're not just picking peppers.

“Squash, basil, and tomato plants taller than me,” said Olsen.

All the food they get is either given away or sold at a low cost.

“Produce can be very expensive especially if you are living in a neighborhood that doesn't have fresh produce,” Olsen said.

So they set up a stand in the Skyland neighborhood, an area that just lost its only grocery store.

She said it's not the communities fault they don't have a store, so why not do something to help.

“This whole program is almost like an act of rebellion, we're telling big business that doesn't want to come into our community well we have the power to grow our own and make it available to our community members,” Olsen said.

The program expanded to five neighborhoods now. Still, anyone can go to the fresh food stand at 29th Ave. and Colorado Blvd. It’s a "pay what you can" stand on Thursday’s.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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