In The News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Dusty Krikau
Director of Communication & Special Events
Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, Inc.
30 S. Portland Street
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
Farmers Market “FDL Fresh 5” Food Donation Program Feeds Many
Fond du Lac, WI – On August 5, the Downtown Fond du Lac Farmers Market rolled out "FDL Fresh 5," a food donation program for vendors to share their leftovers with local food pantries. Each market day, a local youth volunteer pulls a wagon through the market at 11:45 to collect produce. Vendors are under no obligation to donate, but nearly all donate every week.
“It allows us to give back to the community that supports us every week and utilize some of our excess produce, so it doesn’t go to waste and is shared with our neighbors instead,” said Lynda Zeleske, a local farmer who operates Fondy Fruits and More.
“Unlike canned or non-perishable foods so often donated to pantries, the majority of food donated through this program was fresh fruits and vegetables. Food storage is key to maintaining safety and quality of perishable foods. Not all pantries have the necessary refrigeration equipment on-site. That, and the volunteer staff’s ability to pick up the donations, were the trickiest parts of setting up the program,” said Amanda Miller, FoodWIse Coordinator and Family Living Educator, UW-Extension Fond du Lac County. Miller and the Zeleske’s worked together to find the pantry, research how other communities make the program work, and bring the program to life. While many local pantries would love to offer fresh produce to their recipients, refrigeration and staff availability limited this year’s recipients to one local agency: Broken Bread.
In two short months, August & September, vendors donated more than 1,300 pounds of food and will continue to donate as the market comes to a close on October 28. The general public is also welcome to participate in the program. Local volunteer, Donna King, staffs a tent near the corner of 1st and Main each weekend to allow visitors to donate their market purchases or cash to the pantry.
The Downtown Fond du Lac Farmers Market is organized by the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing people, activity, business and a thriving civic life to the heart of Fond du Lac.