Every Wednesday, farmers from across Connecticut come to the Presbyterian Church of Old Greenwich to sell their fresh fruits and vegetables. But this summer, instead of taking the produce that doesn't sell back to the farm with them, they are donating it to a good cause.
"We donate to neighbor to Neighbor every week. Whatever we have left over, we will bring by over there, or they come by and pick stuff up. Sometimes, we bring them two or three giant coolers full of stuff like kale, lettuce, squash, and tomatoes," said Greg Bischoff, the Property Manager of Back 40 Farm in Washington, Conn.
Neighbor to Neighbor is a food pantry that serves Greenwich families on a weekly basis. The fresh food donations help Neighbor to Neighbor feed 660 Greenwich families every year for free.
"At the end of the farmer's market, they're giving us their left over produce. So we are working together to address a very, real, very serious community need," said Nancy Coughlin, the Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor.
"We have lots of people in the Town of Greenwich, sometimes people are surprised to hear, there are people in the Town of Greenwich that need help and we are able to provide them with help," said Allen Jackson, the President of the Board of Neighbor to Neighbor.
The donations from the farmers not only helps feed these families, but it also helps to keep them healthy.
"Since the 80's, the relative price of fresh produce and healthy food has increased 40 percent. At the same time, the relative price of high calorie, low nutrient junk food has decreased 40 percent. What that means is that fresh, healthy food is becoming more and more out of reach of low income people," said Coughlin.
In a study published by Social Science and Medicine, researchers found that children in low income families are at a 28 percent greater risk for obesity compared to middle and high income children.
"This is a great way to get healthy food to people who can't other wise get it," said Jackson.
The Old Greenwich Farmer's Market runs every Wednesday in the summer from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.