Alexandria Everyone Eats Green!


If you plant a garden, you may wind up with more fresh produce and herbs than you or your family (or friends and neighbors) will ever consume. Many Alexandrians are not as lucky and do not have access to fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. An estimated 100 billion pounds of food--enough to eliminate hunger--is thrown away every year in the US.My idea is to distribute fresh produce from community gardens--and potentiall restaurants, grocery stores and farmers' market vendors--to city of Alexandria residents, increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables and eliminating food waste.I propose designating sites at the City of Alexandria run farmer's markets where surplus produce can be donated, as well as distributed to private citizesns as well as non-profits, schools and congregations.In a previous community I lived, local congregations collected local surplus fresh produce during the spring, summer and fall to distribute to those low-income residents that might not have access to fresh foods. The idea was as simple as having collection baskets available. The congregation partnered with local non-profits, such as Food Banks, to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to community members.I would like to expand the idea to have dedicated repositories and distribution sites at City of Alexandria farmers' markets. I would like a community vote on whether the program should be means-tested based on income, or available to all City of Alexandria residents. The goal is to promote healthy eating and reduce food waste and hunger.Step one: get MOUs with a local food bank, Alexandria City Public Schools, City of Alexandria run farmers' markets, local community centers and congregations.Step two: enlist volunteers to staff and collect donations each week. Have volunteers trained and certified in safe food handling if directly Get a local business to donate signage and local residents to donate recyclable food receptables to collect food donations. The City of Alexandria could also provide collection baskets or bins.Step three: develop a means to distribute the fresh produce weekly at area farmers' markets. Determine if it will be income-based (based on Federal poverty guidelines) or available to any city of Alexandria resident with a valid ID or other forms of identification (i.e. utility bill, lease agreement, voter ID, school ID, library card). For people with disabilities or senior citizens, volunteers can provide drop off donations through an email request site or partnering with another non-profit.Costs: safe food handling distribution, collection bins 


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