We believe in centering community voices to innovatively adapt our approaches and shape our programming. By supporting, educating, and empowering a range of communities we have the unique opportunity to influence change across sectors. Community engagement happens wherever you find FRESHFARM: at farmers markets and farm stands, at schools and with our Pop-Up Food Hub partners, including Early Childhood Education (ECE) Centers, Senior Centers, and Healthcare Clinics.
Amplify Community Voices
We know that those closest to the issues are oftentimes closest to the solutions, so we provide platforms for community members to advocate for themselves. By actively gathering and incorporating partner feedback, we tailor programs to better support the communities we serve.
Pairing Food Access & Education
We recognize that food access and food education must be paired in order to be effective in curbing food insecurity. Through collaborative efforts between our Pop-up Food Hub and FoodPrints programs, we provide our partners a range of educational and food access offerings through delivery and subscription services and opportunities to redeem supplemental nutrition assistance benefits. Check out our Produce 101 guide developed to help eaters and shoppers better navigate the seasonal produce offered at our markets.
Facilitate Community Driven Solutions
Creating a safe, engaging space that is free from power dynamics takes time, intention and flexibility. By honoring the lived experiences and wisdom of individuals providing direct, hands-on services, our staff are convening and facilitating robust, multi-sector coalitions. This work helps us understand the challenges and begin the process of developing participant driven solutions to inform policy and decision making. In 2022 FRESHFARM, in partnership with Share Our Strength, developed a toolkit to inform organizations on how to create family councils.
Community Training & Technical Support
Our approach to empowering and educating ECE providers and families starts by meeting them where they are. We build equity into our offerings by providing a range of ways for participants to engage and connect including:
- Training and employing Community Food Educators who provide food education for families at school and ECE sites.
- Designing workshops that provide hands-on cooking instruction with seasonal food.
- Providing consultation for ECEs focused on skills and equipment to prepare fresh food.
Community Engagement Reach 2022
We engage with a growing network of Early Childcare Education (ECE) Centers across Washington, DC, building excitement and supporting the implementation of farm-to-school-based practices
Our Food Access Community Educators are on site at our markets and farm stands to help make them more accessible and welcoming to shoppers who utilize nutrition benefits. Educators answer questions, offer cooking demos, and share recipes and storage tips.
Through in-depth trainings, we arm our community food educators, market operators, and external partners with additional knowledge to help shoppers effectively use their food budgets while generating excitement about eating local foods.
“I’ve never had a position where I was doing something meaningful like this.”Alicia Gaskins, Community Food Educator