Donation stations coming soon to area farmers markets

Farmers Market at Poplar Grove on April 23, 2018. (Photo: Facebook)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Cooperative Extension is launching donation stations at local farmers’ markets as a way for the community to engage in supporting local food and food security efforts.

Donation Stations will begin at the Tidal Creek Farmers Market and the Poplar Grove Farmers Market on the first and third Saturdays and first and third Wednesdays of each month, beginning in April through September. Shoppers will be able to purchase fresh produce from farmers and vendors, and then donate it at a Cooperative Extension Donation Station. At the end of each market, the donated produce will be given to local food pantries to serve their clients.

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“This initiative connects the producer and consumer in an even more meaningful way,” said New Hanover County Cooperative Extension and Arboretum Director Lloyd Singleton. “By partnering with the farmers’ markets and our community, we will be able to offer high-quality fruits and vegetables to our neighbors who might not otherwise have access to this type of nutritious food. It also allows farmers to receive the asking price for their products, which helps to support our local food economy.”

Farmers’ market shoppers can purchase produce and bring it the donation station table, which is operated by extension staff and volunteers; or offer a monetary donation to purchase fresh produce from the market.

Community members are also encouraged to volunteer to help with the program; just stop by a donation station table or call Extension Area Agent Morgan McKnight at (910) 798-7660 to learn more.