Chesterfield farm starts outreach program to help families in need

Posted at 11:10 PM, Aug 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-09 23:30:55-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va (WTVR)- With the economy the way it is, there aren't a lot of people who would turn down something free.

The Chesterfield Berry Farm is banking on that to launch a new program to help out families who can't afford fresh fruit and produce.  Managers at the fresh market want to bend your ear, if you’ll pardon the pun, about something they've just launched on their Facebook page.

“It's called the Chesterfield Berry Farm outreach program," said Shannon Manguson.  She said customers can come in and nominate families they think are in need.  “We pick families each week that people enter that need help and we give them a $25 gift card to buy produce here at the market that we grow."

With the rising cost of food at grocery store chains, Chesterfield resident Lynn Madden says there's no doubt every little bit helps.  “We have a family of three and it's tight,” she said.  “I think it's a good resource for our family and our community."

The Chesterfield Berry Farm in recent weeks has used free food to entice people to visit their new Brandermill location.

For the next few days they're using a half-dozen free ears of corn as a promotion to draw in the fruit- and veggie-loving foot traffic.

They hope to get the word out about the outreach program and encourage other local businesses to jump in the basket and build a healthier, stronger community with them.

“We don't know everyone who needs help and let’s face it:  there's a lot of families that don't want to admit they need it,” said Manguson. “This is a way to let people know we are there and they can have access to fresh produce."

To get the free ears of corn, no purchase is necessary.  To nominate a family to receive a $25 gift card, click ‘like’ on my CBS 6 fan page and there's a link to the Chesterfield Berry Farm page.