Here are some testimonials from clients enrolled in our program in 2006.
Family of Three (Mother, Father, Child):
My family and I enjoyed participating in the local foods program. My husband, who has had a lifelong dislike of vegetables, enjoyed the majority of the dishes I prepared using the CSA vegetable shares. We were even able to store some vegetables for winter: potatoes, corn, and green beans. Although our child is only three months old, the program has benefited her as well. I think that observing her parents eating vegetables will encourage her to eat them in the future. We have also processed some acorn squash into baby food and frozen it until she is old enough to try it. Thank you Local Foods for including us in your program, and thank you Oak Hill Acres for providing our shares.
Family of Five (Mother, 4 Children)
Once again our family had a positive experience with the vegetable boxes this past summer. The boxes were filled abundantly and we enjoyed the variety. Sometimes we didn’t know what a particular item was but we tried it anyway. (Sometimes with good success and sometimes not so good.) We appreciate all the hard work and effort that goes into these boxes so that we can enjoy healthy eating. Thanks so much for the coordination of getting the boxes from the farmer to our house. It all went very smoothly.
P.S.: The cooking contest was fun and gave me some good ideas. I would like to do that again.
Family of Four (Mother, 3 Children)
I would like to thank the people at Local Foods Connection, for letting me participate one more year. I have learned so much about organic foods. I will try to buy organic whenever possible. You all have made a big difference! Happy Holidays!
Family of Five (Mother, Father, 3 Children)
My family’s involvement in the Local Foods Connection program in Iowa City for the past few years is for sure one of the most exciting experiences of our stay in the U.S. so far. We are all impressed by the extraordinary dedication and enthusiasm of Laura Dowd in running the program, caring for others, striving to make needy people have access to earth-friendly foodstuffs.
Beyond just providing us with healthier food, the program played an invaluable role in making us understand and value organic food, a unique experience that we wouldn’t have had a chance to make anywhere else. The program enabled us to discover new types of vegetables and find out how to use them, to have access to healthy products including bread, eggs and meat, to learn several healthy cooking methods. In addition to that, the quizzes (that I always shared with my entire family) were remarkably instructive.
Highly edifying and exciting were also the visits that we made to ZJ farms where we particularly appreciated Susan’s friendliness, availability and patience in introducing us to farm work as meant for the production of organic food. Not only did we find her commitment and hard work profoundly inspiring, but we were all sincerely moved by her boundless generosity, especially in providing us with as much produce as we could carry home.
Ultimately, what makes me and my family appreciate the value of the Local Foods Connection program to such a great extent is obviously the fact that we come from one of those parts of the world where access to the most basic foodstuffs is regarded as a privilege and never taken for granted. With such background, we can only be impressed and appreciative in seeing a program so strongly dedicated to providing needy people with free food. In various regards, the Local Foods Connection has been a perfect helping hand to us, at a time we needed it most. Our heartfelt thanks and gratitude go to Laura, Susan and all other actors of the program for their thoughtfulness and generosity. Our very best wishes to all of them in pursuing this wonderful program that deserves to flourish more than ever! Even away from Iowa (that you make us miss so much!), we’ll always have all of you in our hearts! MERCI BEAUCOUP!
We are so grateful for this past year’s shares. We received our produce every Friday from Gooseberry Farms. When it was delivered to the church, we placed it on a table in our foyer. With activities from Friday night until Sunday am, all but one week, the produce was gone by Sunday afternoon. The unexpected joy was observing Kenyans, Latinos, Caucasians, African-American, young and old discuss what the vegetables were, how to use them, compare how they fixed them and even invite each other over to share the food. A couple of nights, members of the Latino community appreciated and enjoyed some of the produce while fixing food in the church kitchen for a get-together. The recipes that were included were taken. With a large percentage of our congregation being low-income and low middle class, the treat of fresh produce was welcomed. We had some in the church add to the table with their homegrown produce which increased the sense of community and sharing our resources with others in need. We had planned to deliver some of the produce to Regency Trailer court but they came to us. Approx. 40 different families shared in this gift. Thank you again for your generous gift to our community.
North Liberty Food Pantry
We at the North Liberty Community Pantry really enjoyed our partnership with Local Foods and ZJ Farms. Being a part of the Local Foods Connection allowed us to have far more fresh produce at the pantry than would otherwise have been possible. We have a refrigerator that is dedicated to fresh produce throughout the summer, and this enabled us to have it full each week. It was a great supplement to the individual donations we receive from community members. The descriptions of food and recipes we received with the material provided by Local Foods gave us the chance to educate the families we serve (and often ourselves) about the value of fresh foods and ways to prepare them. In some cases our families also offered us help and advice on what to do with vegetables such as mustard greens. It was a wonderful process and helped us to provide healthy fresh food for families that many would not have been able to afford otherwise.
Family of Two (Mother, Child)
I must admit I was not completely prepared. The veggies came marching one by one, two by two and ten by ten. WOW! Soon my frig. was a jungle. Some of these things I had never gotten at the store and the ones I might have would not have been as fresh or as plentiful. My more recent idea of veggies was carrots and celery (if that) or overcooked frozen ones… I did spend some time feeling overwhelmed. I was having some health problems over the summer so finding that extra creativity and energy was sometimes challenging. Who would have thought that veggies could be challenging!
I felt lucky, blessed and much admiration for those who had the inspiration and desire to grow food for the hungry. I did not expect an encounter with the profound, but I got it. And I was well fed 🙂