Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Top Ten for 2010.

Driving down Route 95 Monday, I saw no less than three billboards frantically reminding me that there are only 12 shopping days left until Christmas (today there are only 10). I'm not a big holiday shopper, so those billboards don't really induce anxiety attacks, but they do make me think about how close we are to 2011.

And that makes me think of lists. December is always full of them: top ten albums, top ten books, top ten movies...even the top 10 tweets! I figured Local Food Hub should get in on the list-making fun, too, so without further ado:

My Top 10 Favorite Things that Local Food Hub Did in 2010:

10. Moved more than 45,000 pounds of local watermelons.
Oh, my aching back!  This one speaks for itself. Our warehouse moved more than 45,000 pounds of watermelons grown by local farmers this summer.  You folks like your melons!  

9. Hosted the Southwood Photography Project.
Turning loose a group of kids armed with cameras on a farm has never been so fun.  Check out a firsthand account of the day and view a slide show.  Oh, did I mention they made a book?! 

8. Benefited from a Dave Matthews concert.
Thanks to the generosity and creative thinking of our hometown rock stars and their adoring fans, this concert raised more than $75,000 for Local Food Hub.  What an impact. 

7. Graduated three apprentices and four high school interns.
Brian, Sarah and Tess spent eight months living and working (and sweating) at Maple Hill. Brian is staying on next year as a senior apprentice (and we're accepting applications for the 2011 season). And our interns, oh where do we start?  How about here, with this video.
6. Garnered some pretty excellent national attention.
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan toured our warehouse.  NRCS Chief Dave White visited the farm.  Know Your Farmer Know Your Food wrote about us. Tom Philpott came to see us, and we got a shout-out in the WaPo. We're making waves, people!

5. Supplied more than 45 schools with fresh fruits and vegetables.
We deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to schools in Albemarle and Greene County, the City of Charlottesville, three UVA dining halls, St. Anne's Belfield and Charlottesville Day School. And during Farm to School week, more than 11,000 kids had the option of a fresh, local lunch.  Yum.
4. Partnered with Boys & Girls Club to host pop-up farmers markets.
These farmers markets, hosted weekly in the Southwood Mobile Home Park, are helping to get fresh, healthy food into traditionally under served neighborhoods, also called food deserts.  We're expanding the program in the spring to include the Cherry Avenue neighborhood!

3. Donated more than 50,000 pounds of produce to food banks.
We think everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food grown in their community. That's why we donate 5% of warehouse sales and 25% of food grown on our farm to places like the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, the Haven and Bread of Life.
2. Inspired Perry Foundation to double your gift.
Thanks to some creative thinkers at this local foundation, every gift we receive between now and the end of 2010 will be matched, dollar for dollar.  These funds keep our truck on the road, our farmers in business, and fresh food in your community. Please help us take advantage of this opportunity by donating today.


1. Delivered more than $460,000 worth of local fruits, vegetables and eggs from 50 family farms to more than 100 buyers.
In just 15 months, we've delivered almost half a million dollars worth of local food to our hospitals, schools, restaurants and grocery stores. That's food that was originally being shipped in from out of state; money that's staying right here in our local economy; and fresh healthy food for our kids, our families and our community.

Congratulations Charlottesville, and thanks to all the big thinkers that have supported our efforts so far.  You made this entire list possible!

Cheers to a happy, healthy and delicious 2011.

image credit: Fred Jackson / Creative Commons

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