Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing
Farm to table
Denzel T. Veale recently led the latest iteration in a movement amongst university students and the community to become more active in buying fresh fruits and vegetables through a mobile phone app and curbside pickup system, “Access: Farm to Table.” The Lithonia, Georgia native says he was inspired to create this program while completing his graduate research entitled, ‘Farmers Market Promotion and Programs to Rural and Food Desert Communities.’
Veale recently received his master’s in public health from Tuskegee University, however, before stepping foot on campus, Veale already had two degrees under his belt, from Miles College and Troy University. Veale says what led him to Tuskegee was his pursuit to study fitness, health promotions, and public health education.
“While in college I was able to create and build a nonprofit organization called American Muscle Fitness Club Association that promotes health and wellness for the university, staff, public schools, and the community. The goal is to utilize all the connections and knowledge from the universities I’ve attended, along with my nonprofit experience and apply it to my current environment in Tuskegee,” noted Veale.
While in the graduate program at Tuskegee, Veale explored why the “farm to table” concept will likely shape our food future.
“The farm to table movement has been growing for years and since its beginning, people have wondered if it's simply a passing fad or a new mainstay in the restaurant industry. Years later, farm to table is still going strong, so we can safely assume that it's here to stay,” explained Veale.
Veale explained that he and his cohorts worked with a carefully selected list of vendors to ensure that the food is picked at peak freshness and is bursting with flavor.
“We know that this system has a lot of benefits including the opportunity to boost the local economy and support local farmers. The food is in fact local and doesn't require a prolonged travel period, and having a local system allows for fewer greenhouse gases to be emitted into the atmosphere,” noted Veale.
There’s an app for that
Veale said, with the countless apps available at your thumb, it was important to create an app that would allow people the convenience of accessing fresh fruits, vegetables, and products from local farmers.
The app features fruit and vegetable produce available weekly – options include individual item selection, all fruit or all vegetable baskets, mixed baskets, and crates.
“By shopping on the Access application, you are not only supporting local farmers, but you are also helping them plan their crops, leading to less waste and more of the fruits and veggies you love most,” he explained.
Veale has plans to open a health and smoothie bar, right outside of the campus, which he says would be convenient and within walking distance for students. The bar will feature farm to table smoothies, juices, and some hot healthy food selections.
“The goal of the health bar is to promote optimal health by connecting farmers, health products, campus, and the community. We take pride in providing our signature farm to table smoothies and health-event programs,” said Veale.
Veale says he already has a name for the establishment – the Access Health Bar, which is slated to open this spring.
“The main goal is to keep the legacy of Booker T Washington and George Washington Carver alive by casting down buckets where we are,” Veale added.
To place an order through the app visit https://apps.apple.com/us/app/access-farm-to-table/id1521588587. Deadlines to order will be Monday at 11:59 p.m. for Wednesday pick-up and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. for Saturday pick-up every week. For call in orders contact 334-377-0692.
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