Fresh produce giveaway scheduled in Austin

Bags of fresh produce loaded with broccoli, potatoes, lemons, peppers, tomatoes and other produce at the first TaskForce fresh produce giveaway in Austin in August.

Provided photo by Chris Balthazar

A West Side community organization plans to give away around 100 bags of fresh produce this week.

TaskForce Prevention & Community Services, a community center for LGBTQ youth of color, will host the event Wednesday in Austin. 

It will begin at noon at the group’s community center, 9 N. Cicero Ave. and last until all the produce is gone. It’s the group’s second produce giveaway; the first lasted two hours, said Executive Director Chris Balthazar. It will be open to the public, no registration necessary.

The goal, Balthazar said, is to address food insecurity in Austin, where adults have a harder time accessing fruits and vegetables than almost anywhere else on the West Side, according to the Chicago Health Atlas. 

Recipients can expect enough produce “to feed a family,” Balthazar said. The bags will contain red potatoes, sweet potatoes, oranges, onions, green peppers, celery, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, apples and grapes. The produce comes from Gordon Food Service and was paid for by the Logan Foundation.

Balthazar hopes the giveaway will foster goodwill with neighbors who might not have looked to the organization for help before because they do not identify as LGBTQ.

“We care about their wellbeing,” Balthazar said. “We want to make sure they have access to healthy food options and not have to walk a mile to get it.”

Michael Loria is a staff reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster the paper’s coverage of communities on the South and West sides.

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times


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