Jul 17, 2017
Denver Human Services (DHS) and Denver Botanic Gardens celebrated the peak of the summer harvest today by officially kicking off their annual fresh foods Farm Stands, which bring nutritious, locally grown produce to Denver neighborhoods that lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Produce grown at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, in partnership with the Veterans to Farmers program, is available for purchase weekly at DHS offices in Sun Valley and Montbello on specific days. In addition, the Farm Stand program returns to the Union Station neighborhood this summer, and – thanks to support from Denver Wellness and UnitedHealthcare – has introduced a fourth location at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building.
The farm stands will operate through October.
“Supporting overall wellbeing for all Denver residents starts with the foods we eat, but in some areas of our city, fresh fruits and vegetables can be difficult to access,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “These partnerships help ensure that DHS clients and neighbors in Sun Valley and Montbello, as well as patrons of other Farm Stand locations, are able to enjoy healthy foods at affordable prices.”
The farm stands are open to all members of the community. Customers who use their SNAP food assistance program benefits card (EBT/Quest Card) qualify for additional discounts, including a Double Up Food Bucks Colorado incentive. Double Bucks allow SNAP benefits recipients to receive twice as much food for the same price, or double the money to spend on fruits and vegetables. Double Bucks are made possible by a collaboration led by LiveWell Colorado with funding support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We are pleased to again partner with Denver Botanic Gardens to bring locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables to our offices in Montbello and Sun Valley and improve access to healthy foods for all residents, said DHS Executive Director Don Mares. “And it’s a wonderful bonus to know that Denver veterans helped grow this food.”
DHS and the Denver Botanic Gardens have distributed thousands of pounds of fresh produce since launching the Farm Stand program. In 2016 alone, the farm stand garden grew 10,000 pounds of food for the Denver community. In addition to produce grown at Chatfield, the farm stands feature organic fruit from the Western Slope, sweet corn, assorted melons, Chatfield honey and free-range eggs.
Brian Vogt, CEO of Denver Botanic Gardens, said, “We are thrilled to participate in the third season of this important partnership. Making fresh food accessible to underserved communities is central not only to the Gardens’ overall mission, but is a building block for our Urban Food Initiatives program.”
The DHS/Denver Botanic Gardens Fresh Farm Stands will operate weekly through October on the following days and locations:
Mondays DHS Richard T. Castro Building, 1200 Federal Blvd. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wednesdays Wellington E. Webb Office Building, 201 E. Colfax Ave. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Fridays DHS Arie P. Taylor Montbello Office, 4685 Peoria St. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturdays Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.