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Learn about an easy way to help with food insecurity in Northwest Arkansas — and a party for a great cause at Cobblestone Farm! This is a sponsored post written on behalf of the Cobblestone Project. All opinions are my own.
We who live in Northwest Arkansas tend to think of it as a vibrant, growing and relatively affluent part of the country. And while it is those things, it’s also the region of Arkansas with the most food insecurity.
About 130,000 of our neighbors in Northwest Arkansas are considered “hunger challenged,” meaning they either have to go without meals or the meals they eat lack basic nutrition. And one in four families in Northwest Arkansas have trouble affording healthy food, according to the Food Research and Action Center.
Helping Our Neighbors with Food Insecurity
There are a lot of great programs that aim to fill these needs in various ways. The Cobblestone Project has a great model where they grow food locally and donate more than half of their production to more than 20 agencies that help with food insecurity here, such as:
- Northwest Arkansas Food Bank
- Samaritan House
- 2nd Street Pantry
- local public schools
They also work with community partners such as NWACC Brightwater, the VA Hospital and others to produce programs that educate people about food insecurity, sustainability and access to local, healthy food, as well as advocating for greater access to such food for the food insecure in our community.
Thanks to a grant from the Walmart Foundation’s Northwest Arkansas Giving Grant, Cobblestone Farm donated 15,000 pounds of food and 960 fresh eggs in 2016.
The Cobblestone CSA
What happens to the rest of the food they produce? They sell CSA (aka community-supported agriculture) shares they call Harvest Shares, which gives buyers fresh produce, eggs and flowers they can pick up weekly May through mid-October.
What’s included in the share varies through the season, depending on what is available from the farm. Produce can be picked up from the farm in Fayetteville on Fridays or at the farmer’s market in Bentonville on Saturdays.
This is an easy way to help people in the community and get to enjoy some fresh, local produce yourself. Being part of a CSA is a lot of fun because you never quite know what — or how much — you’re going to get, which can encourage you to try new foods and different preparations.
The Harvest Party
In addition to supporting the CSA, locals can visit the farm and enjoy an amazing farm to table meal at the annual Harvest Party, which is taking place this year on Friday, September 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Morter Farm Barn, 8412 Morter Dr., in Rogers.
This year’s party features an open bar and cocktail hour, followed by dinner prepared by Chef Luke Wetzel of Oven & Tap. There will also be live music and lots of fun for a great cause.
Dress is country casual and tickets are $100 each, or $800 for a table of 10. Get your tickets here.
Other Ways to Help
If you can’t attend the party but still want to help, you can donate to the Cobblestone Project — either a general monetary donation or you can buy a CSA share and donate it — or volunteer to help mow, maintain deer fencing, harvest produce or provide gardening and other help.
They offer special opportunities for veterans to work in the gardens (contact the VA for more information) and provide corporate team-building days that involve team-building activities, a farm tour and working at the farm.
If you’re at all interested in the issue of food insecurity, sustainability and access to local foods, I’d love it if you checked out the Cobblestone Project and considered donating and/or attending the Harvest Party.
Produce photo by Frank Heinz, via Flickr.