Pro­duce stands bat­tle “food deserts”

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Erin Dou­glas John Leyba, The Den­ver Post

The Den­ver Post

Af­ford­able pro­duce just ar­rived in two Den­ver neigh­bor­hoods that do not have easy ac­cess to fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles.

Farm stands will set up in the Sun Val­ley and Mont­bello neigh­bor­hoods at least once a week un­til Oc­to­ber as part of an an­nual part­ner­ship be­tween Den­ver Hu­man Ser­vices and Den­ver Botanic Gar­dens.

The pro­duce is grown at Den­ver Botanic Gar­dens Chat­field Farms. The pro­gram started in 2015 to pro­vide ac­cess to neigh­bor­hoods iden­ti­fied with lim­ited ac­cess to fresh food, or ar­eas con­sid­ered “food deserts.” The farm stand gar­den pro­duced 10,000 pounds of food in 2016.

This year, Den­ver Hu­man Ser­vices in­tro­duced a fourth lo­ca­tion, at the Welling­ton E. Webb Mu­nic­i­pal Of­fice Build­ing.

The lo­ca­tion means the stands are open for an ad­di­tional day per week this year.

“There’s a huge de­mand for fresh food right now, and the more places that of­fer it, the bet­ter,” DHS spokes­woman Sue Cobb said.

She said pro­duce ac­ces­si­bil­ity is crit­i­cal in or­der to com­bat child­hood obe­sity be­cause par­ents without ac­cess to fruits and veg­eta­bles strug­gle to put healthy food on the ta­ble. She said that this is one of the many ben­e­fits of the pro­gram.

Food stands are open:

• Mon­days — DHS Richard T. Cas­tro Build­ing, 1200 Fed­eral Blvd., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Wed­nes­days — Welling­ton E. Webb Of­fice Build­ing, 201 E. Col­fax Ave., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Fri­days — DHS Arie P. Tay­lor Mont­bello Of­fice, 4685 Peo­ria St., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Satur­days — Union Sta­tion, 1701 Wynkoop St., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The pro­duce will be sold at a re­duced price. Cus­tomers can use SNAP food as­sis­tance pro­gram el­i­gi­bil­ity to qual­ify for ad­di­tional dis­counts, in­clud­ing the Dou­ble Up Food Bucks Colorado in­cen­tive, which al­lows cus­tomers to get dou­ble the food for the same price.

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