Sandhills Farms to Table Cooperative site visit: May 5, 2010
The Sandhills Farms to Table Cooperative located in Moore County is one of the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund’s selected 2010 grants projects in the Central Region. Their operation is impressive by stature and merit, as this cooperative is the only known farm cooperative in the nation in which members are made up of farmers, workers, and customers. Each one of these boxes that you see in this picture will be delivered to one of seven gathering places in Moore County where consumers can pick up their vegetables and fruits.
Produce boxes will be delivered for 17 weeks this season. With each box costing only around $21, I was impressed when told all 17 weeks of deliveries have been paid for in advance by the consumers in Moore County.
Not only do the customers receive their weekly box of veggies and fruits, they also receive a weekly guide of recipes and dietary advice. Not a bad deal in my opinion, especially when you know your fruits and vegetables are fresh from local farms in your community. Jan Leitschuh, one of the cooperative managers, explained to me at the visit that: “This cooperative works because the farmers, workers, and consumers are all members together and want to make sure everyone has a fair price.”
One thing is for sure, people in Moore County are pleased with the Sandhills Farms to Table Cooperative. This is the first year of existence, and already more than 1500 people are eating veggies and fruits from this cooperative each week. The cooperative is reaching over 1% of the population in Moore County!