Diggin' New Roots by Taylor Ryan
New Roots has been planted in the Louisville area since 2009. They support local farming businesses by increasing access to fresh food to families every Thursday via the Fresh Stop Project.
Andre Barbour, partner and local Hart County farmer says, “It has been great to work in a symbiotic relationship with the New Roots Fresh Stop Project. Relationships as such will only prove to be the pilots of rural farm business with urban organizations dedicated to feeding those in metropolitan food hubs like Louisville.”
Seated on the corners of 45th and Market, New Roots digs deeper into the community by acting as an agent of empowerment to families who have limited access to fresh, locally grown food. New Roots welcomes everyone in the community to participate in their Fresh Stop Project. The produce orders are placed ahead of time capping the amount of people who can participate at about 75 families.
There are five Fresh Stops in Louisville, each serving a unique population. The cost of participating ranges in cahoots with one’s financial status. Shareholders who are considered working class may purchase shares of produce for $25 dollars. Shareholders who are low income may purchase shares for $12 dollars and WIC uses pay $6 dollars. Those who pay $25 dollars are helping to subsidize the cost for those who are low income. Each shareholder receives a large bag full of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables that feeds a family of four. On Fresh Stop day you will items such as cucumbers, corn, kale, eggs, eggplant, candy onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, cantaloupe, red potatoes, Kentucky’s only native fruit Paw Paws, and much more. In addition to the beautiful display of produce, the Farmers also sale their local, grass fed, organic meats at a discounted rate for shareholders.
The Fresh Stop is a family affair. New Roots staff and Fresh Stop leaders provide a safe and fun environment while still promoting healthy eating habits. With this program being used to increase awareness in the community’s children it ensures that they will grow to be more knowledgeable about the decisions they make when choosing what foods to consume.
Apart from the Fresh Stop Project, New Roots also facilitates Food Justice Classes that encourage the sharing of food stories, leadership development, healthy eating and home cooking. Community members are encouraged to attend these free classes. Community-minded organizations that are passionate about food can seek guidance in these classes and take the initiative to open and operate more Fresh Stops in the community.
Muhammad Ali Scholar, Dejon Day states, “New Roots gives me humanitarian experience throughout the community as an intern as well as provides me with fresh food weekly. In turn making me a healthier person now that I have the access to the New Roots Project.”
An initiative to bring the Fresh Stop Project to the University of Louisville has sprouted into existence. Intern Dejon Day, a senior in psychology at the university, is in the works of starting the program up with his fraternity brothers of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Thursday August 28 will be the premier of the program’s launch at Iota Phi Theta’s Back to School BBQ and Supply Drive in partnership with the women of Empowering Ladies Together.
Day says, “The incentive is great but the experience lasts a lifetime.”
The New Roots organization is always looking for new volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities, contact Karyn Moskowitz a call at 502-509-6770 today and become a member of the Fresh Stop family.