Since 2007, we have grown an average of 10,000 pounds of fresh vegetables each year, which we distribute free of charge using a time-based, alternative currency called “farm tokens.” When an individual volunteers in the UACC gardens, she or he earns a wooden farm token for every half hour of service. A volunteer can use a farm token for her or himself or share it with a neighbor. Farm tokens are exchanged for garden produce at weekly, volunteer-operated distribution events called “market days.” During each growing season, UACC conducts 20 to 24 market days all held in community centers or on lawns in the Friendship Court, Crescent Halls, 6th Street, and South 1st Street communities. Depending on the time of year, one farm token is worth a bag of vegetables that would cost $15 to $30 in the grocery store. Market days also serve as a place where people can share information and make connections. Guest chefs offer cooking demos and share recipes made with the weekly harvest. Other community organizations come to market day to share information about upcoming events and new happenings in the neighborhood.
2015 was a particularly successful year for UACC. We grew and distributed 17,000 pounds of produce to an average of 60 people per week, for a total of 386 individuals served over the course of 24 market days. 94% of market day attendees surveyed reported being better able to provide healthy food for their families and 97% reported eating more fruits and vegetables because of the UACC market day. In addition, 100% reported meeting more people of different races or ethnicities than their own, and 97% reported getting to know more people from different communities that their own.
You can help us grow and share healthy food by making a secure online donation!