Tennessee farm offers food program to help families with limited resources

GREENBACK (WATE) – The One for One Program is creating a new opportunity for families in need so they can put fresh food on the table.

With many people in East Tennessee struggling to find their next meal, the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless is teaming up with Century Harvest Farms to create the free program. It allows people living on a low income to keep half of the produce they pick at a farm in Greenback.

“One of the key factors that individuals dealing with homelessness experience every day is where their food is coming from,” said Jen Patterson with the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless.

Chris Burger, owner of Century Harvest Farms adds, “We want to take a real aggressive bite out of both poverty and food insecurity. People of low income have very poor access to nutritious foods.”

The three-month program is available seven days a week to individuals on a low income or utilizing SNAP or WIC benefits.

Families with limited resources can get their hands dirty by coming out to the farm. They pick out the vegetables and fruit they want and they get to keep half.

“We wanted them to feel empowered about where their food is coming from. They can invest and feel proud of what they picked,” said Patterson.

Once the produce is harvested, it goes to the kitchen.

“They can trade them for lean protein like our grass-fed beef or some of our other preserved products like jams and pickles,” said Burger.

Not only do they get to pick produce, but they can also take cooking classes and learn about making healthy food choices.

“You can get the food and you might not necessarily know what to do with the tomatoes put in front of you, so you’re able to learn how to cook the food that you’re getting,” said Patterson.

The program will be available through September. Organizers are hoping to expand it for a full year if they receive enough funds.

To join the One for One Program, call the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless at (865) 859-0749 to sign up and to learn more. 

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