Chanowk Yisrael of Yisrael Family Farms in Oak Park held his own “farm to fork dinner” because he says he felt excluded from the inaugural Farm to Fork Tower Bridge Dinner.
“When I first saw the price I said my community won’t be able to be there. That was the first thing I said and then I said how is this going to impact my community because this is where I live and this is where we need fresh farm food,” said Yisrael.
Tickets for the upcoming Farm to Fork Tower Bridge dinner went for $175 per person and sponsors paid anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000 for a table of eight. Within hours the event sold out.
“It’s sad that not everybody was included. Whenever you do anything you should always include all the stakeholders, so not having everybody have access creates a difficulty for everyone,” said farming advocate Damaris Canton.
Yisrael says if anyone needed to experience what it’s like to eat Farm Fresh food it was his neighborhood.
“Littered around here are convenience stores with little to no fresh foods. If there is fresh food, sometimes it’s brown or it’s old. In addition to that it’s littered with fast food restaurants who are nowadays taking food stamps,” said Yisrael.
Yisrael invited family, friends and other farmers for dinner and charged them 20 bucks.
“I love this kind of event for it’s kind of grass roots feel and uh it’s just and amazing opportunity to get to know other farmers,” said Elisabeth Hensel, a Lodi-area backyard farmer.
Yisrael’s farm to fresh event is just one of several Farm to Fork spin off events taking place this week. Several were held in Midtown.