This is the Jamm!

lil miss strawberryThe strawberry season in Kentucky is only 2-3 weeks, so when the time comes, you have to get your hands on as many berries as possible.  With a little help from New Roots, Inc., a local Food Justice non-profit here in Louisville, and the Shawnee Fresh Stop family, people in Louisville were able to do just that.  Last Thursday, after weeks of preparation, the Shawnee Fresh Stop family kicked off their second Fresh Stop season with an indubitably sweet celebration- the 1st Annual Strawberry Jamm Festival!!  This celebration was a time to build community, share recipes and celebrate strawberries in Kentucky. More importantly, however, it served as a way to actually make fresh local strawberries accessible to all of Louisville’s residents, especially in the food desert regions of the West End.  With a sliding scale of strawberry prices, individuals relying on SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) and women enrolled in the WIC program were able to purchase the remarkably delicious berries at a fraction of the cost.

truckload of strawberries

The event went better than we could have ever imagined.  With more than 150 families purchasing strawberries, we were able to channel roughly $1700 to local farmer Danny VanMeter.  We had a live DJ, Capoeira performances, Tai-Chi demonstrations, games, door prizes, roasted strawberry salsa, freshly churned strawberry ice cream and even a special visit from Mayor Greg Fischer!  It was truly a community-wide celebration. 

For more information on Fresh Stops, how to start Food Justice projects like them in your community and a bevy of pictures of the 1st Annual Strawberry Jamm go to:  Also don’t forget to please email or call our National Food Security Coordinator at or (502) 569-5818 to share your wonderful stories of how community is growing in your neck of the woods.