Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Donna Pearson McClish, Common Ground

commonground

If one can’t get the people to the produce, then take the produce to the people. A Wichita family has created a mobile market that delivers healthy produce to senior centers in south central Kansas.

“Common ground.” That term typically refers to shared values. Today, we’ll learn about an initiative where the name applies to people who are literally using their farm ground or garden acreage for a common purpose, to help feed the needy, elderly and others in their communities.

Donna Pearson McClish created this initiative known as Common Ground Producers and Growers Mobile Market. Donna grew up in Wichita where she lives today.

“My dad was a truck farmer,” Donna said. “In 1968, my folks bought a 40-acre farm northeast of town.” Today, the city of Wichita has grown entirely around it. On this acreage, her father raised vegetables and had a community garden.

“My mother rounded up the neighborhood children and would teach them canning and sewing,” Donna said. She also raised 12 children, of whom Donna is the oldest. Today, Pearson Farms continues to raise produce for the community.

“One summer my brother came to me and said we had extra produce that year,” Donna said. “`What should we do with it?’ he asked. I said, ‘Well, we could start a farmer’s market,’” Donna said.

The Pearsons contacted the K-State Research and Extension Sedgwick County Extension Office to get advice about opening a farmer’s market. They met with Bev Dunning, the county extension director at the time. “It turned out that she had worked with my mother on our front porch, teaching canning and sewing many years ago,” Donna said.

Shortly after that, Donna was on her way to a church meeting when her phone started buzzing. “You need to get a newspaper,” she was told. When she stopped for a paper, she saw the lead article was about Bev Dunning retiring from extension – but that wasn’t what caught her eye.

“The first sentence of the article said that Donna Pearson McClish wants to start a farmer’s market, according to Bev,” Donna said. “Oh my, we thought we were just exploring alternatives.” But that public comment gave Donna and her family the nudge they needed to proceed with plans for their farmer’s market which began on their farm.

The farmer’s market was visited by Donna’s friend who worked with senior citizens. The friend commented that her clients had received USDA-issued senior market vouchers which are only good at farmer’s markets, but had no transportation to get there. “Could you bring the produce to our senior center?” she asked. Donna consented and the mobile market was born.

It turned out that a committee of senior health center staff had been working for two years on a solution to the unused senior market vouchers. Donna set out to gather produce and bring it to the senior centers.

“In 2014 we started with 11 senior centers where we delivered produce,” Donna said.  “Now it has grown to 33, and we visit most centers two times each month.” Many of these are low-income, senior citizen high rises. These include multiple centers in Wichita, as well as more rural locations such as Haysville, Newton, Hesston, Andover, and the town of Clearwater, population 2,431 people. Now, that’s rural.

This initiative is called Common Ground Producers and Growers Mobile Market. “We work with a network of growers within a hundred miles, so the food is local,” Donna said.  To the extent possible, no herbicides or pesticides are used. Her grandson helped with deliveries and now trains other youth to assist. They distribute fruits and vegetables such as beets, greens, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, okra, tomatoes, and more.

It’s a win-win situation. Senior citizens get local, healthy produce and growers have an additional outlet for their production. “It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work,” Donna said. “We want to expand and we are always looking for more growers.” Donna is also active in the Kansas Black Farmers Association.

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/commongroundpg.

Common ground. In this case, growers are using their ground to produce healthy food for the common benefit. We commend Donna Pearson McClish and all those involved with Common Ground Mobile Market for making a difference with this initiative. The results are uncommonly good.

Audio and text files of Kansas Profiles are available at http://www.kansasprofile.com. For more information about the Huck Boyd Institute, interested persons can visit http://www.huckboydinstitute.org.

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The mission of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development is to enhance rural development by helping rural people help themselves. The Kansas Profile radio series and columns are produced with assistance from the K-State Research and Extension Department of Communications News Media Services unit.

Source: Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Donna Pearson McClish, Common Ground

USDA Launches SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot

Participants May Buy Groceries Online in New York
Release #: 
FNS 0003.19
Contact: 
FNS Communications, (703) 305-2281
Date: 
04/18/2019

Washington, D.C., April 18, 2019 – For the first time, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online, during a two-year test (pilot) launched today in New York State. In making the announcement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue highlighted online purchasing’s potential, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) commitment to program integrity by looking carefully at the pilot. Lessons learned from this pilot are expected to inform future efforts to expand online purchasing in SNAP.

“People who receive SNAP benefits should have the opportunity to shop for food the same way more and more Americans shop for food – by ordering and paying for groceries online. As technology advances, it is important for SNAP to advance too, so we can ensure the same shopping options are available for both non-SNAP and SNAP recipients,” Secretary Perdue said. “We look forward to monitoring how these pilots increase food access and customer service to those we serve, specifically those who may experience challenges in visiting brick and mortar stores.”

The system is developed to allow online purchasing only by SNAP households with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards issued by New York for this start of the online pilot project. Online retailers will be limited to delivery in the pilot areas in New York only. Information regarding expansion will be available after this launch is determined successful and other pilot states indicate their readiness to implement.

Background:
Amazon and Walmart will participate in the initial pilot launch today with ShopRite joining early next week. ShopRite and Amazon are providing service to the New York City area and Walmart is providing online service in upstate New York locations. Additional retailers are slated to participate in the pilot in coming months. The pilot will eventually expand to other areas of New York as well as Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.

The pilot will test both online ordering and payment. SNAP participants will be able to use their benefits to purchase eligible food items, but will not be able to use SNAP benefits to pay for service or delivery charges. For more information, please visit the SNAP Online Purchasing pilot webpage.

The 2014 Farm Bill authorized USDA to conduct and evaluate a pilot for online purchasing prior to national implementation. The pilot phase is intended to ensure online transactions are processed safely and securely. USDA anticipates all eligible and interested retailers who can meet the requirements to process online SNAP transactions will eventually be able to take part, though the timeline is dependent on the progress of the pilot and any regulations which may need to be issued.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works to reduce food insecurity and promote nutritious diets among the American people. The agency administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy.

 

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Kansas City Food Hub

The Kansas City Food Hub is a Cooperative Association owned by member farms operating within the Kansas City region. We improve the economic viability of small- and medium-sized farms by coordinating aggregation hubs, bringing farms and buyers together in a community that benefits growers, businesses and-ultimately-consumers. We help farmers become economically successful by giving them a consistent market for their products. Our most important function is marketing, sales and distribution service. Additional programs and services include crop/stock planning, food safety planning, bulk packaging supply and technical training and education.

Source: Farmer Owned, Farmer Run

From the Land of Kansas

Source: From the Land of Kansas

Community Supported Agriculture | Alternative Farming Systems Information Center| NAL | USDA

Contents

Introduction

Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. 

In a traditional CSA model…

  • Members share the risks and benefits of food production with the farmer.
  • Members buy a share of the farm’s production before each growing season.
  • In return, they receive regular distributions of the farm’s bounty throughout the season.
  • The farmer receives advance working capital, gains financial security, earns better crop prices, and benefits from the direct marketing plan.

“Current business models for CSAs are diverse and innovative. Producers have adapted the CSA model to fit a variety of emerging direct marketing opportunities, including:

  • Institutional health and wellness programs;
  • Multi-farm systems to increase scale and scope;
  • Season extension technologies; and
  • Incorporating value-added products, offering flexible shares, and flexible electronic purchasing and other e-commerce marketing tools.”

T. Woods, M. Ernst, and D. Tropp. Community Supported Agriculture – New Models for Changing Markets. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, April 2017. Web: https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/CSANewModelsforChangingMarketsb.pdf

Find Local Food and CSAs Near You

Search State and regional farm directories

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What is Community Supported Agriculture

Marketing through Community Supported Agriculture

History

Surveys and Statistics

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Where to Find More Information

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Search AGRICOLA, the National Agricultural Library (NAL) Catalog.
AGRICOLA (AGRICultural Online Access) is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature created by the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and its cooperators. Records describe publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines. [Learn more about AGRICOLA.]

  1. Search AGRICOLA using Open AGRICOLA: 
    • Find books, articles, electronic documents and other formats
    • Example search terms / phrases: (“community supported agriculture”) OR (“community supported farm?”) OR (“CSA farm?”) OR (“subscription farm?”) OR (teikei)
  2. Subject browse in AGRICOLA:
    • Articles: Subject Search Then, select the Subject tab. Enter: “community supported agriculture” and select “hit the Enter key.
    • Books: Subject Search. Then, select the Subject tab. Enter: “community supported agriculture” and hit the Enter key.

Review Community Supported Agriculture – Automated Database Searches to search additional resources.

Additional Information for Farmers

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Eating Seasonally and Regionally

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Community Food Systems: Farm-to-School, Food Circles, and Farmers’ Markets

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The Sustainable/Organic Agriculture Connection

Information from USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture supports three major programs that offer sustainable agriculture information and assistance. Whether you are a farmer, an educator or a researcher seeking more information about sustainable agriculture in general, about a specific crop, or help with a specific problem, these programs can help. Contact information for each program and a description of each program’s area of specialization are provided below.

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Archived AFSIC resources on Community Supported Agriculture include:

Compiled by:

AFSIC staff
The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
National Agricultural Library
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Ask a Question
Reviewed September 2018

Source: Community Supported Agriculture | Alternative Farming Systems Information Center| NAL | USDA

Kansas | The Economic Contributions and Impacts of U.S. Food, Fiber, and Forest Industries

Source: Kansas | The Economic Contributions and Impacts of U.S. Food, Fiber, and Forest Industries

Farmers Market Metrics – Farmers Market Coalition

Farmers Market Metrics The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) worked with market and research partners to develop a complete evaluation & data communication system for farmers markets, known as Farmers Market Metrics (FMMetrics). FMMetrics is driven by the need for efficient farmers market management tools, that can also serve to streamline grant reporting. The scalable and customizable…

Source: Farmers Market Metrics – Farmers Market Coalition