Accessing fresh, organic produce at a reasonable price can be a struggle for anyone, especially those who struggle financially. This is why Island Walk partnered with Ladybell Farms for a special one-day event on Friday, May 18, 2018, that turned into much more. While our initial goal was to provide vegetables at a discount, we decided to take this opportunity up a couple of notches.
In addition to Ladybell Farms bringing fresh vegetables as well as flowers, we also invited some community partners for a Resource Fair. In attendance were representatives from Herndon Health Works, Training Futures, Computer CORE, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County Police, and we even had a “Maintenance Corner” from Island Walk’s very own Maintenance Supervisor, Carlos Lazo. A few of the Island Walk teens also decided to use this event to hold a bake sale to raise funds to send a box of kids clothes, books, and toys to El Salvador!
One more special aspect of the event was that we used the opportunity to invite our neighbors from across the street in a housing development called Golf Course Island. Our goal is to build relationships and to thank them for the Little Free Library they donated to us earlier this year. Residents purchased produce, explored our resource fair, and were walked down to the Little Free Library by Island Walk Teen Volunteers.
Despite heavy rains, Island Walk’s Fresh Produce Market & Resource Fair event was very successful! We had over 50 attendees from Island Walk, Golf Course Island, community partners, and Island Walk staff. Because the event was well-received, Ladybell Farms has agreed to hold regular markets throughout the summer and fall and we will continue to use these events as opportunities to further build community relations and bring valuable resources to the residents.