Imagine being able to purchase fresh, local produce and help area nonprofits at the same time. Thanks to the recently-launched Go-Go Fresco, you can.
Go-Go Fresco, a nonprofit, is designed to be a traveling farmer’s market where residents can purchase fresh local produce at competitive prices, the organization’s president and founder, Nick Knock, said. But it doesn’t stop there. Knock and vice president and co-founder, Laconte Lee, also have a passion for missions and are excited to be able to use their own nonprofit to help other area organizations.
“We found out nothing like this existed in this area,” Knock said. “We decided to bring the farmer’s market to the people and support local missions while we’re doing it. We thought it was a great way to combine both local food and local missions.”
Go-Go Fresco will make a special stop in Mint Hill on April 13, a Saturday, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Hope Christian Church, 11231 Lawyers Road. The money raised will benefit the church’s Bain Elementary food pantry ministry.
Knock and Lee began working to start Go-Go Fresco in January. Within just two and a half months, their dream became a reality last month as Go-Go Fresco made its debut at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mint Hill.
But first, they had to get the produce. Knock and Lee began reaching out to local farmers to try and obtain the freshest, in-season produce for the best price. The founders either visited the farms to pick up the produce in person or had the items delivered to them.
“We’ve literally gone to the farms ourselves as the farmers are picking (the produce) up out of the ground. The money stays local,” Knock said.
Lee said selling only local crops is very important for their nonprofit.
“If you go to the grocery store, or even some farmer’s markets, you’d be surprised to find some things they have are not actually local,” he said. “You kind of lose the sense of season.”
Because the produce is all locally grown, Go-Go Fresco sells whatever is in season in North Carolina, which recently has been winter crops – green, leafy vegetables like collard greens, spinach and kale. Knock said they’ll introduce squash and okra soon and eventually add fruits like peaches, melons and apples later in the spring.
But while bringing healthy, local food to the community is important, Knock and Lee said their organization has a higher purpose: missions.
“Local nonprofits rely on grants and donations and it’s hard to be financially stable,” Knock said. “Because we raise money by selling the produce, we don’t rely completely on grants and donations; we can turn around and give (money) to local missions.”
Since March 18 – the day Go-Go Fresco debuted at Cornerstone Baptist – the nonprofit has supported organizations like Cornerstone’s preschool program, the Charlotte Rescue Mission and other ministries.
“Giving to charities should be as easy as grocery shopping,” Lee said. “That’s one of the things we believed from the start.”
Knock and Lee plan to have permanent stops set up on five different days of the week, with the opportunity to host occasional special events in addition to the weekly schedule. Starting April 10, the nonprofit will stop every Wednesday at Mint Hill’s Dilworth Coffee from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They also stop on Sundays at Warehouse 242 on Wilkinson Boulevard in Charlotte, have a Saturday stop at 7th Street Public Market in Charlotte and a Thursday stop at Next Level Church in Stallings.
For more information, including a list of local stops, visit www.gogofresco.org.