Choctaw Fresh Produce awarded $37,500 grant
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 1:00 AM
Choctaw Fresh Produce recently received a $37,500 grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado. This award will support the efforts of Choctaw Fresh Produce to establish a Mobile Farmer's Market that can deliver fresh, healthy produce to each of the Tribe's eight communities and throughout east central Mississippi beginning in spring 2014.
Choctaw Fresh Produce is one of the Tribe's newest business operations. CFP started in 2012 with the goal of using tribal lands to grow fruits and vegetables to supply the local community. The Tribe's resort restaurants, school cafeterias and tribal residents consume a tremendous amount of produce annually. With this knowledge, the Tribe decided to form this new business to fill some of that demand by growing and harvesting safe and healthy produce.
"I am very pleased to bring this new service to our tribal communities. We all want access to safe and healthy foods for our families. This is not just a new business opportunity for the Tribe. It is also a way for us to improve the health of our communities," said Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson.
"It is certainly an exciting project for our Tribe in many ways. Our Choctaw people have been the caretakers of this land for many generations. It is only natural that Choctaw hands harvest the bounties that our lands provide."
This year Choctaw Fresh Produce has plans to double its production capacity. Commercial farms have already been built in four tribal communities: Conehatta, Tucker, Bogue Chitto and Red Water.
These farms will grow more than 20 different varieties of fruits and vegetables. The addition of the Mobile Farmer's Market will allow tribal members in all of the tribal communities to have access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables.
"Many people do not realize that the average vegetable has traveled more than 1,500 miles before getting to our grocery stores and restaurants," states Dick Hoy, General Manager of Choctaw Fresh Produce.
"And they are often sprayed with preservatives, pesticides and other chemicals that many people do not want to consume. We grow our vegetables without pesticides or preservatives and they are available for purchase within a day or two of harvest. It just doesn't get any healthier than that."
For more information about Choctaw Fresh Produce and the Mobile Farmer's Market initiative, contact Mr. Dick Hoy, General Manager, 601.663.6302 or visit their website www.choctawfreshproduce.com.