Making a Difference: “Perishables” program feeds 100 people in Knox County

A new program that started as a response to the pandemic, has taken off.
Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A new program that started as a response to the pandemic, has taken off.

The “Perishables” program at CAC Beardsley Community Farm feeds at least a hundred people a week for free across Knoxville who may not have access to fresh vegetables.

“I feel great that I get to feed my children good, healthy food,” said Rosa Tristan with the help of a Spanish to English translator.

Tristan is grateful to feed her three children healthy options through the program.

“I always try to get them to eat more vegetables and so the produce that is given to us helps a lot. The lettuce and the carrots and we make stews with the vegetables. It’s a way to get them to eat better to make my family healthier,” explained Tristan with the help of the translator.

Beardsley teamed up with Nourish Knoxville to make it possible. They get donations to pay farmers for their products and then help those who may not have access to fresh foods.

“It’s really rewarding. It is nice to be clear on what the needs of the community are and to take that feedback and be able to meet those needs,” said Charlotte Rodina, Co-Director of CAC Beardsley Community Farm.

Beardsley then goes to where the need is on Wednesdays. Their drop off locations include Bridge Refugee Services Inc., Centro Hispano, and Love and Isabella Towers with Knox County’s Development Corporation.

“I feel very blessed and very joyous that we’re able to assist people,” said Yolanda Soto who receives up to 25 bags a week through Centro Hispano to give out at her church.

Some of the items include: salad mix, asparagus, broccoli, potatoes, onions, carrots and eggs.

“It’s always been really satisfying to know that you’re helping the local economy or the local food system,” said Charlotte Tolley, Executive Director of Nourish Knoxville, “So I think it’s been really rewarding for us and all the partners we work with.”

The program is funded through the end of July. If you are interested in helping add donations, you can do so by donating to Nourish Knoxville here.

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