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Denver7 Gives raises $2,500 to help man take produce stands to food deserts in Colorado

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Posted at 11:41 AM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 13:54:22-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — After he was pushed out of his small town produce shop in Lyons to make room for big business, Ralph Ford has been taking his fruits and vegetables on the road.

"People ask, 'Why do you do this?' Just to give someone a tomato and see them smile and say thank you," Ford said.

He has dedicated most of his life to giving people food at a reasonable price in areas where fresh produce may not be available.

"There’s just some people that don’t have enough money for food and I feel like I’ve been fortunate enough. It just makes me feel good to be able to feed people," Ford said.

Lately, he has been forced to set up shop in front of a 7-Eleven in Fort Collins. After his modest shop in Lyons was torn down, Ford decided to pursue his dream of building a portable refrigerated produce stand to bring to food deserts across Colorado.

"I’ve been thinking about this idea for years. I just think it’s time," said Ford.

To get the wheels rolling, Ford needs to buy a trailer, which he plans to insulate. He’ll then need a generator to keep the trailer-turned-refrigerator cool for the produce.

"The generator is a big thing — to run the whole unit if I don’t have electricity," explains Ford.

He estimates the total cost to be around $13,000. When his attempts to raise money failed, Ford admits he lost hope.

"I was just about ready to give up," said Ford.

Ford said things took a turn for the better after his story aired on Denver7 in late July. Ford said he received an additional $4,000 in donations, which got him closer to buying his trailer.

"That’s like a miracle to me. I just think it’s really nice," Ford said of the donations.

As for the generator, you at home covered that. Through the Denver7 Gives fund, we raised $2,500 for Ford to buy that generator.

He’s still thousands of dollars away from his goal, but with your donations, Ford believes he’ll have his mobile produce stand going by the end of October.

"It shows people have a lot of confidence in my idea and I’m gonna make it happen," Ford tells Denver7.

If you would like to donate to Ford's GoFundMe, click here.