'FarmBus’ gives out locally-grown food for free

Man gives local produce to community

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - One local business owner is sharing his wealth of produce with others around the city – all for free. The ‘FarmBus’ made stops in Church Hill early Sunday afternoon to pass out fruits and vegetables to locals.

Normally, the FarmBus drives around Richmond to sell produce and other locally-grown foods.

Owner Mark Lilly says he had a surplus of fruits and vegetables to get rid of, and rather than let this food go to waste, he decided to lend a helping hand to people getting ready to cook upcoming Christmas feasts.

The FarmBus got its start in 2009, driving around Richmond and sometimes as far as Washington, D.C., connecting people with local food-makers.

“It’s a win-win for everybody," Lilly says. "The farmers, they grow the food, for me, for them. It really pulls at your heart strings when people really appreciate what you’re doing.”

William Nicholson was like a kid in a candy story as he packed his bags with greens and other vegetables. He’s excited to try new recipes to cook alongside his 11-year-old daughter.

“Just to be able to have different options and healthier choices to make for dinner, it’s a blessing," Nicholson says.

Lilly says it’s a very humbling experience. While he may not be providing them a hot meal, he says he’s doing what he can with what he has.

“These people had no idea I was going to show up... they were just ecstatic and they were just so grateful," he adds.

Lilly succeeded in FarmBus’ main mission: Building connections between local farmers and customers, but also in creating memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.

The FarmBus is expected to hit the road once a month regularly starting in January.

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