Faces of Bloomingfoods: Local Food Heroes

This year we will also introduce the winners of our first ‘Cooperate for Community’ contest. We asked you to nominate Local Food Heroes, and our winners were selected in late September by a team of three judges: Gwen Dieter, Carol Shapiro, and Craig Stewart.

Keep reading to find out who our winners are! 

The first place winner of the 2007 CFC contest is Art Sherwood, representing LIFE, Local Indiana Food Enterprises, which he runs with his wife Gwen and with Jeff and Melissa Evard. LIFE is a two-family farm seeking to provide sustainably grown and healthy alternatives to out-of-state produce& you can find LIFE vegetables in our stores.

Art is also active in the Local Growers’ Guild, which he helped found, and is the USDA organic overseer of the Middle Way House ‘Growing Healthy Communities’ project, which involves creating an incubator kitchen, cultivating community gardens, and bringing artisan food products to market. As a business professor at Indiana State University, he has traveled to both Europe and South America, offering advice and making connections with farmer co-ops around the world.

There were two runners-up in the contest, from a field of wonderful local heroes. Brooke Gentile, the executive director of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, was nominated in appreciation for the work she does with that organization, whose mission is to provide healthful, wholesome food to those in need as well as nutrition and gardening education, providing services in ways that build community while enhancing the dignity, respect, and self-care of all involved. Brooke is also the gardening coordinator with the Middle Way House ‘Growing Healthy Communities’ project, working with Art Sherwood and others.

The second runner up was Marcia Veldman. Marcia is familiar to shoppers at the Farmers’ Market in the parking lot of Bloomingfoods East on Wednesday mornings, where she sells flowers, herbs, and vegetables from Meadowlark Farm. On Saturday mornings she wears the same straw hat at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market, where she is Market Coordinator . Marcia has helped the BCFM become one of the premiere grower markets in the country.