Market spreads the word about organic foods
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David Wolinsky of Amitaba Gardens said he wants to educate people about the benefits of eating organic foods. Terry Mayer photo.
BELOIT -- Although demand for organic food continues to grow, it’s often more expensive, putting it out of reach for many with a tight grocery budget.
It doesn’t have to be like that, however, according to Adam Hinkle.
He wants to provide healthy food to area residents at an affordable price, so he recently established a monthly organic food pantry program at New Life Christian Ministries, 1400 Harvey St. in Beloit.
The next food pantry will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 and features organic fruits, vegetables, produce and menu items.
Hinkle, of Janesville, said he decided to establish the pantry to provide a place where residents can purchase organic food at an affordable price.
“I told my wife we need a fresh food bank in Beloit with no canned food or processed food that’s transported throughout the country,” Hinkle said. “Not only are you helping the environment, but you’re also keeping the money local, and that’s important. It’s a good way to do something good for our community.”
The produce is donated, and Hinkle says customers name their own price when purchasing the food.
The proceeds are used to help pay for field trips for children who attend New Life Christian Ministries. Any food that is left over is donated to local agencies.
“It’s pretty much a donation, but we say name your own price, so people have a sense of accountability,” Hinkle said. “They don’t feel like they’re getting a handout. We take the money and what we’re going to do is get field trips for the kids to try to get them back into nature and get them out of the city.”
Most of the food is donated from Amitaba Gardens in Whitewater, which features organically-grown flowers, herbs, tomatoes, berries and grapes. Hinkle said one of the objectives of the pantry is to help people become more familiar with local farmers.
“(Amitaba Gardens’) main objective is to get food to the people. Mine is to bring farmers and people together so that they can meet, and it makes the community a smaller place,” Hinkle said. “It’s tangible-based. You’re just not getting these produce and herbs from a mystery ghost man.”
David Wolinsky of Amitaba Gardens said he wants to educate people about the benefits of eating organic foods.
“We want to show people it’s a healthy way,” Wolinsky said. “We’re not organic certified, but it’s organic matter, and it’s good for the earth, and it’s good for you, and it’s good for agriculture. We’re trying to get more people out to see what we’re doing and just to educate them, and hopefully it spreads, and they will educate other people.”
Hinkle started the organic food pantry in May. He said the program has received a more positive response during the past few months.