By Erica Coghill | WLKY
This story was reported by WLKY and is reposted here with permission.
A Louisville nonprofit organization is being recognized by first lady Michelle Obama for making fresh produce accessible to low-income communities.
The organization has now been invited to the White House.
The Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church in Old Louisville is one of seven locations across the city where you can access affordable fresh produce through the Fresh Market Stop project.
That project is made possible by the New Roots Organization, and it is now getting recognized for its work in Louisville.
Many people are forced to eat high-calorie, processed food that’s not healthy, simply because they don’t have access to fresh fruits and veggies or the money to afford them.
“Some families are living up to 12 years less than other families simply because their race, income and ZIP code — which is simply unacceptable,” said Karyn Moskowitz, New Roots executive director.
Moskowitz is working to change that through her nonprofit called “New Roots,” which makes fresh produce from Kentucky farmers accessible to low-income areas through its “fresh stop” markets.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for leaders in the community to pull all of their resources, food stamps and snaps, and cash on a sliding scale — put all of their money together to be able to access fresh fruit and veggies,” Moskowitz said.
Because the food is bought in bulk, New Roots is able to qualify for wholesale prices. Then those within the community get a share of the discounted produce.
The Fresh Stops are located in designated areas known as “food deserts,” four are in west Louisville.
“There aren’t that many grocery stores in west Louisville,” Moskowitz said.
The White House is recognizing the impact this program is having.
New Roots was chosen to meet with First Lady Michelle Obama’s team to talk about using the program as a model that could be expanded to a national scale.
Organizers also hope to talk policy change that would make it easier for this program to operate.
“Especially access to funding for free equipment to accept SNAP and Food Stamps,” Moskowitz said.
You can still get fresh produce at your local fresh stop through the end of October.
For a list of the locations Click here.
New Roots organizers leave for Washington, D.C., Monday, and will stay through Tuesday.