For over a decade, Loon has participated in The Food Group’s Harvest for the Hungry program. We have donated well over 10,000 lbs of produce to our local McLeod County Emergency Foodshelves, to The Food Group’s food shelf warehouse, and to the Bountiful Basket Food Shelf in Chaska. Each year we ask CSA members at time of sign up to make a donation to the Harvest for the Hungry program and Loon CSA Members have generously donated over $7,000 to this program in the past decade. The Food Group reimburses farmers $1/lb for their produce donated to participating food shelves which helps cover our costs of production for growing, harvesting and delivering the product. In McLeod County, we’ve heard that food shelf users have especially enjoyed our onions, spring hoop house radishes, romanesco cauliflower, Hakurei salad turnips, jalapeno peppers, and tomatoes. We want to thank the dedicated staff and volunteers of The Food Group and McLeod Emergency Foodshelf for their support and promotion of our produce, and helping us to provide fresh, organic produce to those who often have the least access.
In 2020, we began selling to the Hutchinson, Dassel-Cokato, and Litchfield school districts as part of a pilot farm-to-school program. Popular items included farm-fresh carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, melons, and other easy ready-to-eat items. As parents to two elementary-aged school kids in the Hutchinson school district, we are especially excited about having local food options for our own kids and their classmates. And see many opportunities for education and collaboration going forward around agriculture, trying new local foods, cooking, and more. Plus, it just makes sense that as local farmers we are growing and supplying food for our local schools (less than 10 miles from farm to school!). We are excited about expanding and solidifying our relationship with the local food districts in 2021 and beyond!