This week’s Hometown Hero is Marin Lissy, a 12 year-old who is working to bring fresh produce and wholesome food to her community. Lissy is the driving force behind Produce for Parks, a pop-up farmer’s market found at Cedar Falls Park in Chapel Hill. The seventh grade student began her efforts to bring fresh, locally-sourced food to Cedar Falls Park in particular because the area is found in a “fresh food desert,” meaning that there isn’t a grocery store within one mile of the area. A park also provides a natural space for people to gather, and additional exposure to people who have come to the park for recreation.
Produce for Parks is co-sponsored by the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, and funded by the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties. Local farms such as Minka Farm and Jimmy Acres Farm contribute produce, and the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market offers additional support for the initiative. The pop-up market is currently a temporary, trial effort, but continued success could potentially turn Produce for Parks into another successful connection between the families that grow food and the families that bring that food to their tables.