Summer is Sweeter at the Farmers Market!
Pineapples, mangos, oranges and strawberries go fast during fresh summer fruit distributions at Salvation Army Minneapolis Temple Corps. “I think it’s important to provide the community with fresh produce,” said Hannah Gerdes, a Salvation Army caseworker. “There’s always a lack of that fresh, local produce. It’s nice to see the seasonal stuff in the summertime.”
During the summer, Salvation Army Minneapolis Temple Corps hosts its monthly produce distributions outside, in a farmers market-style, and excited neighbors often start arriving two hours before the event begins. This July, nearly 700 community members received fresh produce at the bustling site on East Lake Street. “It’s nice to get lots of that fresh fruit,” said Gerdes. “Produce can be expensive if you’re buying it from a store, so being able to offer it for free is a great blessing.”
This fresh produce is delivered by Second Harvest Heartland and the fresh fruit goes quickly.
What about SNAP?
Those who attend these produce distributions often struggle to access healthy food, yet many aren’t eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As proposed changes to SNAP threaten to limit eligibility for governmental food assistance, even more people will rely on food distributions to meet their nutritional needs.
At Salvation Army Minneapolis Temple Corps, the produce already runs out within an hour of each distribution’s start. “The new changes to SNAP would have a big impact on our clients,” Gerdes explained. “We would anticipate an increase in clients using our food shelves, and in turn, we would rely more on food banks.”
Continuing to Fight Hunger
Despite the increased strain on food shelves and distribution sites, Gerdes has hope that hungry families will continue to have access to nutritious food. “There are so many organizations in our community that can step in and serve those who need it,” Gerdes said.
Ricardo Jonson has volunteered at Salvation Army Minneapolis Temple Corps for nearly a year and understands how it feels to need help with food. “I spent five years homeless, so I struggled with food insecurity,” he shared. “I know what it is like to not know when your next meal is coming.” Because of his past experiences, Jonson decided to help others who face hunger, so he volunteers at the fresh produce distributions. “I enjoy seeing the smiles on people's faces,” he explained.
We do too.
Looking for Fresh Produce?
Learn more about our agency partners who host fresh produce distributions and find out how you can get involved in the fight to end hunger.