Forest City, N.C. (August 23, 2021):
Rutherford BARN, through the Dale Young Pantry Fund, recently provided 762 pounds of ground beef to local pantries. Coming off the success of providing fresh vegetables to local food pantries, this latest effort led by Bob Young of Deer Valley Farm, Jeff Bradley and Tracy Davis of NC Cooperative Extension, and Jill Miracle of RHI, allows families in need access to all the ingredients needed to prepare a well-rounded, nutritious meal.
Earlier in 2021, Bob and Dale Young with Deer Valley Farm received funds from the Dogwood Health Trust through the Community Health Council of Rutherford County to begin work to overgrow and provide fresh produce for local food pantries. Upon the passing of Dale in the spring, Rutherford BARN started the Dale Young Pantry Fund to honor Bob and Dale Young’s years of committed efforts to reach more of those in Rutherford County suffering from food insecurity with locally grown, nutritious food.
The average price for ground beef right now is about $6 per pound (average between grocery store and farmers market prices). This means that over $4,500 worth of locally grown and processed ground beef went directly into the hands this weekend of those in our community who don’t normally get access to such local goodness.
Bob Young of Deer Valley Farm says that this is exactly the type of community taking care of the whole community effort that his late wife Dale envisioned. “She was the most generous person I knew,” said Young. “Dale and I always worked to try to find ways that farmers, businesses, non-profits – the whole community– could work together to provide for our neighbors who can’t get access to fresh, nutritious, locally grown foods. With the Dale Young Pantry Fund everyone can give back, even if they can’t grow the food themselves.”
According to Young, the 762 pounds of beef donated this past weekend is just the start. “More cows are coming and more produce is coming,” said Young. “Also it’s important to recognize donations from RHI Legacy Foundation and Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) allows more farmers to be able to be a part of this effort, and it allows this fresh food to stay right in our town helping those right in our community most in need. It’s our responsibility to help those who need it in our community, and this effort is the perfect example of how that can happen.”
Jeff Bradley, Rutherford County Extension Director and one of the local cattlemen donating, said that with the vegetables to the pantries effort going so smoothly and being so successful, meat was the logical next step. “I thought local cattlemen through the Rutherford County Cattlemen’s Association would be willing to donate cows every so often as long as there was a way to find funds to pay a local processor to process the meat, “says Bradley. “That’s when Bob Young with Deer Valley Farm said this could happen through the Dale Young Pantry Fund.” This current effort involved donated cows from Rutherford cattlemen: David Hillman, Ronnie Holman, and Jeff and Addison Bradley.
Tracy Davis, Extension Agent of Family and Consumer Sciences with NC Cooperative Extension says, “This effort is part of bigger work we are doing to make fresh, wholesome food available to everyone, especially those who don’t normally have access to it. Fresh food is good for our bodies and for our community. It’s about sharing the bounty with everyone. Everyone deserves good food.”
RHI Legacy Foundation matched the first donations raised by Rutherford BARN through the Dale Young Pantry Fund for this effort. Overall RHI’s mission is to reduce chronic disease in Rutherford County, and one of the three areas of focus for the Foundation is healthy eating. Rutherford County falls behind other North Carolina communities in many health measures, including access to healthy foods. Consumption of fresh foods is vital to preventing disease and improving health outcomes.
“Our organization has been working with local food pantries since 2014,” says Jill Miracle, Community Impact Director for RHI Legacy Foundation. “We have provided almost 2.5 million dollars in funding for annual operations and equipment to make local pantries’ food distribution more efficient. We hope that our $2,500 match encourages other individuals, non-profit organizations, and businesses to donate to the Dale Young Pantry Fund to help provide healthier foods and to alleviate hunger in our community. We are grateful to Bob Young at Deer Valley Farms for providing a model for how local farmers can work with local food pantries to increase access to fresh foods for Rutherford County residents who rely on food distribution to meet part of their family’s nutritional needs.”
You can donate toward future Dale Young Pantry Fund efforts quickly and easily online through a donation to Rutherford BARN. Scan this QR Code at:
About The Rutherford BARN: Building Agriculture Relationships Now
Rutherford BARN is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that supports a locally-based food system that: a) improves public health and well-being by increasing dietary intake of fresh produce; b) improves access to fresh produce by limited resource families c) enhances the capacity for sustainable food production, processing, and distribution by addressing the educational needs of the producer and consumer; (d) supports agri-tourism and economic development; (e) provides an atmosphere conducive for exchange of information and ideas between producers and consumers, and; (f) strengthens the social fabric of the local community by increasing awareness and support of local agriculture and the arts.
We believe in the inclusion of those we serve. “Nothing about us, without us, is for us.” We believe in the power of the local food system to nourish those in need locally and strive to connect local farms to local plates to accomplish the mission of reducing local food insecurity. We believe in the capacity of our local community to sustain local farms, and believe that local farmers deserve to work for a living wage.
Find more on Rutherford BARN and its programs, including the Rutheford County Farmers Market, online at https://rcfarmersmarket.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @RCNCFarmersMarket.