Strengthening the Local Food System and Building Healthier Communities since 2014!
2014 - GoFarm Founded
Eileen O’Rourke founded GoFarm in 2014 after traveling the country researching local food systems and forming the GoFarm model along the way. It was with her passion to build a robust local food system that secures fair prices for farmers AND makes sustainably-grown food affordable and accessible to everyone, that GoFarm was born. She gathered support from many people in the community to make her passion a reality - and GoFarm was underway!
2015 - Local Food Share and Community Food Access Programs Launch
The first Local Food Share location (aka, the first GoFarm refrigerated shipping container) opened at the Historic Golden Mill in Downtown Golden. We had about 100 shareholders that first season.
The Community Food Access program also launched, and focused on increasing access and affordability of fresh produce among segments of the population at risk for hunger and food insecurity; low-income families with young children, and low-income seniors. The two initiatives aimed at helping these populations were GoFarm to Families and GoFarm to Seniors, where we partnered with senior centers, Head Starts, and other pre-schools in Jefferson County.
2016 - Local Food Share Opens Second Distribution in Golden
The Local Food Share had such great momentum, that we expanded another location in order to increase access to local, sustainable food for more people! We opened our second location in the Centura Health parking lot (750 Warner Dr.) in Golden.
2017 - GoFarm Incubator Pilot Program Launched
After much planning and research, we launched our Farm Incubator Pilot Program, aimed to support more beginning and aspiring farmers as they develop their farming careers. The pilot involved 1 beginning farmer (Sean Conway with Micro Farms) and 1 plot of land. The pilot offered mentorship, valuable farming resources, and helped break down their barriers of entry into the farming industry.
2018 - Local Food Share opens in Arvada ; Community Food Access Markets Expand
With support from the community and our partnership with Centura Health, we opened a third Local Food Share location in West Arvada on another Centura Health Property.
We also grew our Community Food Access program, operating 8 regular low-cost food markets across Jefferson County. Each market is structured differently to accommodate the specific needs of each community. Our largest market is held weekly at the Arvada Head Start.
2018 - GoFarm Incubator Program Expands
After being awarded a grant from the USDA, we expanded our GoFarm Incubator program in partnership with CSU Extension, Jefferson Conservation District, and Denver Botanic Gardens. During the first year, we on-boarded 3 farmer apprentices, 3 externs, and 2 Summer interns and provided them with farm plots, farming resources, on-site training and related coursework. The incubator program is a kick-starter for beginning farmers to help them create and operate sustainable farming businesses of their own.
2019 - Local Food Share opens in Evergreen; Community Food Access Program Expands
We opened our fourth Local Food Share location in Evergreen and are ecstatic to offer fresh, local food to a mountain community!
We have continued to grow our Community Food Access program with the help of our wonderful community partners. We operated weekly markets at 3 locations within Jefferson County, collaborated with multiple partners every week to coordinate food donations, and increased our educational programming. We placed a refrigerated shipping container at the Arvada Head Start to help us conduct our weekly markets. We also made our Local Food Share program more affordable to more community members by working with more SNAP, DUFB, WIC, and discount share shareholders.
We are inspired by the power that a strong local food system has to create healthy bodies, healthy communities, and a healthy planet. This inspiration and passion drives our work each day.
We believe it is our duty to protect, preserve, and replenish the Earth. We encourage sustainable and regenerative farming and business practices, and work with partners and farmers who share this value.
We believe that racial, social and economic equity (the just distribution of resources and opportunities) is essential in order to achieve a healthy and strong local food system.
We seek interconnectedness with our entire community, and build community through collaboration, inclusivity, and embracing fun!
We aim to truly transform our local food system into one that is thriving, environmentally sustainable, and equitable for all.
We believe that education and knowledge can empower communities and individuals alike.