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YMCA, Grasshoppers Distribution Discuss Fresh Produce in Portland

YMCA of Greater Louisville is continuing to lead efforts to bring fresh produce to areas of the city that lack food options.A report released this week by the  Partnership for a Fit Kentucky features 17 projects around the commonwealth that are models for fighting obesity.Louisville's YMCA has partnered with Louisville Metro Government since 2009 to provide fresh fruits and vegetables through its Healthy in a Hurry program at seven locations around the city using government funding, which has since run out.The locations become self sustaining after an initial investment helps kick-start the projects, said Mike Bramer, Louisville YMCA's director of Healthy Actions. The organization is now having preliminary discussions to partner with Grasshoppers Distribution, a local community supported agriculture (CSA) program that offers fresh produce from various city locations.“And because they are already in this world of fresh produce, this is the only thing they do, we actually think this will be perhaps one of our best locations just because of that," said Bramer.The YMCA has nearly $7,000 to put toward the venture, which is around half of what’s needed, said Bramer. On average, investments up to $15,000 will help businesses to begin selling fresh produce. At this point there is no government funding being added to the potential partnership, he said.But if the project moves forward, Grasshoppers Distribution could potentially be a distributor for the seven Healthy in a Hurry locations.The next step is to study the Portland area where Grasshoppers Distribution is located to determine the demand.  Bramer said the process to determine the market could take up to two months, but if its considered a high demand, the process will move quickly after that time.