“You’uns not from ‘round here are ya?”
No, sir we are not. Susan and I had just walked up to the Todd Volunteer Fire Department to meet Joe Worley. The fire department has just been recently re finished and it is a beautiful little building right of 194. I had just snapped a picture of Susan and Joe in front of the fire truck. We had just met with Joe to discuss the upcoming food project Blackburn House is helping to coordinate with RiverGirl, community members, and Veggies, Fruits, & More (a local grocery store in Boone, NC).
Our goal is to bring food to Todd. Fortunately for us, Al, the owner of Veggies, Fruits, and More jumped at the chance to help out his home town. Al was more excited than ever to help out.
Over and over again we repeat our mission statement in our meetings at Blackburn House. We reiterate our values and the programs we want to promote. One of those values includes a connection to food and agricultural practices. We care about the food that goes into us and the food that comes into Todd. Todd is this community that has a spirit of togetherness that has attracted so many people, whether to take root here for generations or to be newly planted here. The food project that many people are working on in this community is a chance to support the community through a basic thing. For many it will save money, time, and gas. It will bring together people over a basic need.
Right now, the food project is in its earliest stages. Our hope is to order food in bulk through Al and provide for a larger need in the community. The goal is that people will not have to go to Boone or West Jefferson for food. The food will be distributed at the Todd Fire Department. Right now, we need investment in this project. This project will not launch all at once. We have to have committed people who are interested in basic food items such as rice or olive oil. As more people get involved, we can expand to cover common interests such as a specific produce which the cost of can be reduced by buying in bulk. We can’t reach that point without a leap of faith. No, we’re not from around here. But already we care about the people in this area. It matters to us that farmers in Ashe county are struggling. It matters that we don’t have a grocery store. But more importantly it matters that Todd is a community, a beautiful community along the New River that has been here longer than anyone can imagine. It matters that a community that could’ve shut their eyes to those folks at the Blackburn House didn’t, but instead welcomed them and cared about them in way that, even as newcomer, I feel that through the warmth of a greeting or a simple conversation.
If you’re interested in the food project for Todd, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can be involved by volunteering your time with distribution or by making an order.