A Peachy Partnership – TABLE & Farmer Foodshare

By Laura Dille

Creating long-lasting partnerships can really make a difference on the impact an organization can make in its community. Sometimes nonprofits try to collaborate but find out the partnership isn’t the right fit. Other times, everything is just “peachy” – it’s the perfect recipe of missions and differing strengths, and that’s the case with TABLE and Farmer Foodshare.

Working together has an exponential impact compared to what we would do individually!

Our organizations were founded around the same time (TABLE turns 16 this year!) and TABLE was one of Farmer Foodshare’s very first partners. Our mission is to deliver healthy food and nutrition education to children in Orange County, and we envision a community where all children have equitable access to nutritious food. Farmer Foodshare’s mission is to increase access to fresh, local food for all and to support the viability of marginalized North Carolina farmers to create an equitable food system. You can see how closely we are related, while not doing the same work: it’s a living representation of a Venn diagram!

Hunger in our community has only continued to grow since the pandemic. Orange  County experiences significant childhood hunger with over 1 in 3 children participating in the National School Lunch Program, that’s 7,000 kids. TABLE currently delivers food to 1,000 children weekly. 

Our collaboration with Farmer Foodshare has helped TABLE to serve more local children and while we’ve received food (both purchased and donated!) from them for over a decade, we have experienced a particularly exceptional strengthening of our partnership in the past few years. 

Farmer Foodshare helps us meet the need not only with local produce, but with significant grant collaboration, shared projects, board service, volunteering, being a sounding board (particularly their Executive Director, Kelly Crane), and more. The shared partnership between Farmer Foodshare and TABLE is mutually beneficial and multiplies our work; it allows us to make a bigger impact than we can individually. According to Kelly: 

“There’s an adage that says that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and I’ve definitely found that to be true in the food access space in the Triangle. The more we’re able to collaborate with other organizations doing similar work, the more we can get food – especially food grown right here in our state – on the plates of people who need it most.”

A TABLE parent recently shared that they rarely buy certain produce items because they’re expensive, but through TABLE, their kids can eat them: “My family can eat healthier because of TABLE.” 

With Farmer Foodshare’s support, along with our other wonderful farm partners and wholesale suppliers, we can ensure kids have plenty to eat! Farmer Foodshare currently supplies us with fresh, local produce on a weekly basis, all sourced from small local farms. Between Farmer Foodshare and our direct farm partners, we are grateful to be able to provide such beautiful, local produce to our families, and they are happy for the nutrition they can provide their children. 

We also love that the produce is grown in North Carolina. The shorter supply chain means that it is fresher and lasts longer than other products we receive from other organizations. 

We’ve also been the grateful recipients of Farmer Foodshare’s sliding scale CSA for ALL program, funded with Chapel Hill’s ARPA grant, that has provided locally sourced proteins for our families – something many nutritionists and TABLE parents have been asking us to include! And, starting in June, we are going to be providing a dozen eggs per month to each family, thanks to local chicken farmers who work with Farmer Foodshare and a Farmer Foodshare grant with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (of whom TABLE is also a partner agency!).

Farmer Foodshare is an invaluable partner of TABLE’s and we look forward to continuing to work with them to increase food access. Our shared vision of a community with equitable access to nutritious food is only possible through just that – community.

And coming back to peaches…

Farmer Foodshare’s work is incredibly seasonal. In honor of peaches coming into season here in the South, here’s a simple recipe for Peach Cobbler (bonus: it’s gluten-free if that’s important to you!). We can’t wait to send peaches out to all TABLE’s kids this month!

  • 6 peaches, sliced into pieces (leave the skin on for more nutrients and for a more rustic feel, but you can certainly take the skin off if preferred)1/2 cup oat flour, divided (could use regular flour)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (could use honey/maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup of old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease (I used Pam) a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, toss your peach slices together with 1/4 cup of flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Once the slices are nice and coated, pour them into your prepared baking dish.  Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, add in your cold butter cubes, oats, sugar and remaining 1/4 cup of flour.  Use a fork to mash this together and form a crumble (it’s just a very coarse mixture).  Sprinkle this crumble down over your peaches in the baking dish.  Pop your cobbler in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until everything is lightly browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Source: recipe modified from here

If you pick up local peaches at the Farmers Market and try this recipe, please let us know! info@tablenc.org or @table_nc on Instagram and @tablenc on Facebook.

 

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