justfoodks (Jeremy Farmer)


Comment history

Food bank starts growing its own produce


To many of our clients, the thought of growing their own food is intimidating and daunting. We're not suggesting that it's easy to till a huge plot of land and keep it up, but to have a pallet garden or a few plants to have fresh produce may perhaps be easier than they would think. We aren't encouraging people to start huge, but small, and then working from there.

We are not using any chemicals on our garden...it is all natural and organic. I think the article mentioned rainbarrels that we are using to water our garden (we are in need of them being filled up again!).

I'd encourage you to come and see. I know we'd love to show you around.


July 24, 2013 at 8:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City approves budget with slight property tax increase, great hopes of improving economy in 2014


Donations will be coming from various grocery stores and convenience stores, as well as hopefully some restaurants in our community. Right now, we don't have the ability to transport refrigerated product, due to the fact that it is a food safety hazard for many things to not be refrigerated at temperature (especially dairy).

The donor doesn't have the resources to send someone down to the food bank, or the refrigeration to keep something cool to transport it. Many stores are busy with their own operations, and to require them to send someone down with donations is definitely not feasible. I'm sure stores would love to be able to do that, they just can't.

I might remind you that this was an approved expense under the CDBG Advisory Board's funding. Only after HUD saw this wasn't defined as a capital improvement, did the City still want to accomplish both goals, both with the fixing of sidewalks, and the CDBG Advisory Board's desire to fund Just Food for a truck.

If you have any questions, please let me know.


July 10, 2013 at 11:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City approves budget with slight property tax increase, great hopes of improving economy in 2014


Thanks for your always intriguing questions and thoughtful responses.

Insurance and repairs of the truck will be paid for out of our approved 2013 budget. We budgeted for a truck in the event we got a grant for one.

We don't have a replacement plan for a truck that we just got a grant for. It will be something that we work towards in our reserve funds, I would imagine.


July 10, 2013 at 11:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Just Food agency and letter carriers want your canned and dry foods to 'Stamp Out' hunger


I'm sorry you feel like we're trying to boost our numbers. I have said many times publicly and in virtually every staff meeting we have that serving more doesn't equal success in my eyes. As a matter of fact, more people served is a glaring reminder of our failure, NOT our success. I wrote a series of blogs on wellcommons that I would love for you to look at and read.

We are trying to streamline our services to make sure that we get the right food in our clients hands. Many were going to 8-10 different food pantries in a month, not because they needed that much food, but it was to get the food that they could eat (dietary restrictions and preference), that they didn't have too much of (oversupply), or that they didn't have enough of (fresh bread and produce).

As a matter of fact, since this collaboration began, other local food pantries haven't seen an significant uptick in their numbers from month to month. It's been relatively consistent. This tells me that a lot of food was being distributed that clients either didn't need, couldn't eat, or had way too much of. We undertook these changes after polling our clients and finding that the system that we had was perpetuating its own existence. We didn't make these changes arbitrarily, and without significant data which suggested that we not only needed to do better, we had to.

Rather than being completely critical of a system that was formed with our clients in mind (and with their input) and accusing us of "inflating" numbers...why don't you stop by and see for yourself? Talk to some clients. Talk to our volunteers. I'd love to show you around.


May 10, 2013 at 1:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Just Food agency and letter carriers want your canned and dry foods to 'Stamp Out' hunger

Let me clarify. If you come in and get food, and there are four people in your family, then we have provided food to four people. If you come in to get bread and produce tomorrow for your family, then we have provided bread and produce to four people. 8-10,000 is units of service and a cumulative number, rather than an unduplicated one.

Hope that helps!

May 10, 2013 at 10:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Just Food agency and letter carriers want your canned and dry foods to 'Stamp Out' hunger

Lefty lucky:

We put everything in a database that is currently shared with Ballard Community Services, Salvation Army and Penn House. We track numbers of people who come in for a once a month food pantry, those who come for our daily market (bread and produce), clients who receive the TEFAP program, those that are in cooking classes, and other programs we have. We have it all in a snazzy database that one of our volunteers created for us that I'd be happy to show you. Those numbers are cumulative, not unduplicated. Because we were under ECKAN until last year, our first 990 will be filed this year and be available on our website.

Bubbles: you took that quote way out of context. But, to each their own.

Jefferson: you're right. There are many other pantries in our community that do such a wonderful job at making sure people have food. That's the great part about this food drive. All the donated food goes to these partners. We collect it all for them. They certainly are heroes. Especially the pantry in our county that is nearly wholly funded out of the pocket of the person who runs it. They are a hero.


Jeremy Farmer

May 10, 2013 at 8:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

West Middle School penny war benefits Just Food

I can't wait to visit my Great Grandfather's old school and see what these great students did!

January 7, 2013 at 4:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Longtime employee Linda Lassen 1 of 2 laid off at Penn House on Friday


I simply brought up the choice system because that is how we are partnering with these organizations. Just Food was mentioned as perhaps the reason why these cuts happened, and I simply wanted to reiterate that it wasn't the case.

If you want to meet with the client that you just made fun of for being ignorant, I would be happy to arrange such a meeting. Unfortunately, she will read your comment and have to make a determination on her words for yourself. People react negatively to that.

I have been wanting to respond since this article went out and have carefully thought through what I was going to say. Apparently, I'm completely incompetent.

My reason for posting was simply to explain the partnership and what we are doing to help with Ballard, Penn House & Salvation Army. I don't find that inappropriate or insensitive. I was simply trying to offer an explanation.

Your posts don't fall on deaf ears. I would anticipate you have some really great ideas and I would benefit from sitting down with you and hearing more of them. Unfortunately, you won't give me that opportunity because all you can speak of is how ignorant, incompetent, insensitive and clueless I am.

The door remains open if you would desire to sit down. I sincerely don't think I'm as much of an idiot as you make me out to be, but I would ask you to reserve that judgment after you meet me, and see what great things Just Food does for the more than 10,000 clients it serves each month. Whether you do is your call.


January 6, 2013 at 10:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Longtime employee Linda Lassen 1 of 2 laid off at Penn House on Friday

I just wanted to pop on and address a few things for clarity's sake. I will first say that when I moved back to Lawrence, one of the first people I sat down with was Linda at Penn House. Her passion is inspiring, and I truly wish, along with many others that she could have stayed around for as long as she wanted. My inclination is that she will be around, doing as she's always done...from when I met with her, it seemed as if she could do no less. She's one of many folks heroes, and one of mine too.

Regarding the article that was written last week about Just Food partnering with Ballard and Salvation Army...we will be partnering with the Penn House too. Since they are under Ballard's wing, it wasn't mentioned...but we will be helping where we can nonetheless. It wasn't an intentional omission on behalf of the author, I'm sure.

I want to be clear. At no point did anyone from Just Food ask for this to be done or mandate it. Ballard is its own agency. Just Food is simply stocking the pantries at those previously mentioned locations. We aren't taking control over it, or managing it...we're simply providing more resources so that more clients can be better served.

With our choice system that is currently at Just Food and Ballard as of last week, and that will be at Penn House & Salvation Army this week, I am excited to see the joy that the clients at these two locations feel at the other two. Having a choice and getting more food has been HUGE and very well received.

I hope that those that are receiving services from all of these agencies that people are upset with, for a multitude of reasons, can continue receiving the services that are provided. I had a client tell me just today she had been reading these forums and wondered if people understood that it doesn't affect someone like me if people stop giving, but her ability to provide for her family. I assured her that as upset as people get, they will never stop being generous.

So many have commented on this article because you care. And regardless of whether or not people agree or disagree with the contents that people here have written, the fact that you took time to stand up for a hero is wonderfully admirable and says something. Thank you.

Jeremy Farmer
Chief Executive Officer, Just Food

January 6, 2013 at 9:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Local food pantries collaborate to provide healthy food


We can do delivery of the regular commodities. Send me an email. jf (at) justfoodks.org.


January 2, 2013 at 3:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )