Program brings fresh produce to military Families on Fort Carson
October 8, 2010
FORT CARSON, Colo.-Balfour Beatty Communities hosted a farmers market Sept. 24 at the Joel Hefley Community Center on Fort Carson.
Unlike typical farmers markets, the fresh local produce was free to Fort Carson housing residents and military Families.
The event was a coordinated effort between Kris Spiller, LifeWorks coordinator for Balfour Beatty Communities, and Tony and Kay Madone, the founders of Colorado Farm to Table.
The Colorado Farm to Table organization operates with volunteers to raise 10 acres of produce for the sole purpose of providing fresh produce to soup kitchens, food pantries and warehouses across Southern Colorado at no charge to these organizations, according to the organizations website at http://coloradofarmtotable.org/.
"Colorado Farm to Table has been pleased to expand its production for the past five years in order to help more people across Colorado," said Tony, project manager for CFTT. "We are happy that we could reach out to our military families in the 2010 growing season. We look forward to continuing for many years to come."
The market has been held three times on Fort Carson and has grown significantly, with more than 200 residents showing up this year to check out the produce, Spiller said.
Spiller makes the trek to pick up the produce from the farm run by CFTT, hauling about 50 boxes of fresh vegetables - everything from cabbage, broccoli and corn to squash and zucchini.
"It is a five-hour round trip," said Spiller. "I usually drive to pickup alone, where they help me load all the produce. And then our wonderful facilities guys ... help me unload it when I get it back."
Dozens of residents have expressed their delight at the chance to have fresh produce available to feed their families, Spiller said.
It is the fresh food, the budget-friendly nature of the event, and the chance to join together with the rest of the community that has made the famers market at Fort Carson so well-received.
"We have never had any left overs," said Spiller. "We actually passed it all out in about 30 minutes at the last market."
With the support of the community, including Cindy McLaughlin, wife of Garrison Commander Col. Robert F. McLaughlin, who has driven with her to make a pick-up, Spiller said she hopes the market is a tradition that can continue to provide healthy and sustainable resources to the military Families living at Fort Carson.