We were incredibly honoured and blown away when the family of Ian Berith Scott (pictured) asked if our farm, Fresh Roots Farm, would be the recipient of donations made in his memory after his passing, in December of 2018. Although we had not had the opportunity to meet Ian, his family informed us that they were touched by a story about us and our farm, featured in the Manitoba-published book, titled “An Army of Problem Solvers”. Ian had grown up in rural Manitoba, and had a deep appreciation for the land and, particularly in the later part of his life, he felt strongly about healthy and sustainably-produced local food. He also worked with youth and newcomers/students studying abroad during his career.
Upon receiving these funds, we wanted to use them in a way that would honour the life of Ian Scott and do good in a way that we might not otherwise be in a position to do. Both Troy and I have a background working in and learning about community development, and we are harshly aware that many of the food products that we produce are not financially accessible to lower income or more vulnerable people here in Manitoba. We saw this as an opportunity to offer some of our grass-fed beef, lamb and honey to families at a subsidized price, and thus we developed our “Food Accessibility Project”, in Memory of Ian Scott.
In Summer of 2019, we partnered with Westman Immigrant Services out of Brandon to offer grassfed beef and lamb packages at a subsidized rate to about six Newcomer family households.
Going forward in 2020, a year when many families have been struggling due to the pandemic, we have decided to offer some opportunities to families in Winnipeg and other areas of Manitoba. Here is a brief description of how we hope to use some of our existing funds:
- Meat Share subscription program: Low-income spots offered at 50% of the regular pricing – We wish to offer a limited number of our Meat Share (either Beef Box or Lamb Box) spots to some households that self-identify as low income. For example, this means that a family could receive approximately 8 pounds of grassfed beef each month for just $36 instead of the regular $72. The household can pay on a monthly schedule, and pick up on a monthly or bimonthly schedule at one of our central various locations in Winnipeg, between February 2021 and January 2022. The member will receive info on how they can use the various cuts, chosen by us each month, and over time will equate to receiving a Quarter Grassfed Beef. There is an alternate option to receive the Lamb Box for 50% discount, between February -July 2021.
- Gift Card Program, in partnership with local community organizations – We are seeking out local organizations who are working with potentially food-insecure households, to assist us in distributing pre-loaded gift cards which can be used towards purchasing our products on our online store. We can potentially organize food distribution with the organizations, instead of requiring pick-up at our regular locations.
Both of these initiatives are designed to support us as a business, as well as the project recipients, with the subsidization provided by the Food Accessibility Project funds, contributed by our generous customers.
If you are interested in making a donation towards this project, you can do so in addition to your regular order of food products from us, or on its own, by selecting “Donation to Food Accessibility Project” in our online store. This can be done in any denomination of $10 of your choice. We thank you for your consideration of this project, welcome questions, and thank all of you who have already donated.
We are in no way a charitable organization, and do not pretend to be – we are trying to develop a farm business and livelihood that can support us for years to come. We are happy to issue receipts however,, and to keep you informed on any developments with the project as it goes along. We are so thankful for the relationships that we have formed with Ian Scott’s family, and look forward to forming relationships with newcomer families with whom we might not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet and provide food to. Thank you for any consideration of contribution towards this project. We are excited for the opportunities it presents to strengthen our local food economy, food security, and community development right here in Manitoba.