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Health & Medicine

"That's My Farmer" Event Links Food And Community

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On Tuesday, residents can get to know Eugene area farmers and help those in need get access to healthy food. The 15th annual "That's My Farmer" event showcases local community shared agriculture programs.

John Pitney was a farm kid with a passion for food and people. When he moved to Eugene to be a minister at First United Methodist, he formed a group to link farmers and the community.

Pitney: "One of the things that was a natural component of the organizing from the very beginning was that we would encourage donations at the door and create a low-income fund."

Community shared agriculture, or CSA, is a partnership between farmers and consumers. Participants receive a box of produce weekly during the growing season. It can cost up to five hundred dollars.

Most farms use donations from the "That's My Farmer" event to offer half-price shares. Linda Davies is with Wintergreen Farm. They've been part of the low-income fund since the beginning.

Davies: "I asked people to send in their feedback last year and I have some wonderful letters from people who, this just changed their life, being able to eat this food and feed their children, and how healthy they've become. It almost brings tears to your eyes sometimes to think about it."

Wintergreen worked for three years to become a SNAP program provider. They are now able to offer their produce under the national food assistance plan.

Two years ago, Leisha Wood was a beneficiary of "That's My Farmer's" low-income fund:

Wood: "For me it made the difference between eating well and not eating well."

"That's My Farmer" takes place at the First United Methodist church in Eugene Tuesday from 6 to 8 pm.

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