About This Project:
North Park Hill is a diverse neighborhood with a heavy percentage of residents making less than $15,000 a year, and many of those requiring supplemental nutrition programs to feed their families. Transportation is also a significant issue for many families with no fresh food grocery stores within walking distance. Although the new Walgreens Pharmacy opening on October 4th, 2013 at Colorado Boulevard and 35th Avenue will carry fresh produce, we believe that the residents of the immediate and surrounding food desert neighborhoods deserve food that is affordable, local and organically-grown.
Local volunteers launched the Sunshine Food Project as a nonprofit in August 2013. We seek to provide sustainable food systems for our neighborhood, while also cultivating beauty, honoring diversity and building community. Our Neighborhood Catalyst idea is to create a fleet of mobile farm stands that can bring healthy good food to those in need – whether it be the free clinic in Globeville, the senior center at Dahlia Square, the Boys & Girls Club at Holly Square, or neighborhood schools and food pantries.
We are currently applying for a grant through the Denver Foundation to build a prototype “Harvest Mobile” farm trailer this Fall. With your help, we hope to expand in 2014 to a fleet of mobile farm stands, starting with two additional bicycle designs. Our farm trailer is inspired by the Veggie Mobile by Four Season Farms in Maine (http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/farmstand/) and our bicycle designs are inspired by the Mattapan Mobile Farm Stand in Boston (www.wired.com/design/2012/10/pedal-powered-farm-stand) and the Permaganic Produce Cart in Cincinatti (http://upcyclebikes.com/upcycled-bike-creations.html).
Most importantly, we will provide low-income residents with affordable, fresh produce, grown using sustainable and organic methods. In addition, our project will bring together residents, neighborhood organizations and local foodies to learn from each other and share in building something of lasting value for our community. Imagine visiting the fresh food farm stand when picking up your child after school, or getting excited when you hear the bell of the “Harvest Mobile” approaching your block instead of the ice cream truck. Ultimately, we envision a fleet of farm stands operating throughout the I-70 corridor of food deserts similar to New York City's Green Cart program (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/diseases/green-carts.shtml). We will share designs and learnings from our prototypes with others who want to build them and are happy to partner with nonprofits and neighborhood organizations who are not in a position to build, but want mobile farm stands to service their constituents and members.