Rotary First Harvest | A FRESH new table at the Made in Georgia Festival, giving FRESH information about gleaning
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A FRESH new table at the Made in Georgia Festival, giving FRESH information about gleaning

10 Jul 2019, by firstharvest_in8rne in AmeriCorps VISTA, Georgia, Harvest Against Hunger, Society of Saint Andrew

Miracle Wilson joined Society of St. Andrew as a VISTA/Program Coordinator in Atlanta, GA. This nonprofit organization serves its community by providing gleaned fresh produce back into the community through the involvement and awareness of community members. Going into a new area, metro Atlanta, they seek to bring the community together and bring awareness to fight hunger for themselves, their neighbors, and for the state of Georgia.

The last week in June was a hot one for north Georgia where the temperatures reached about 95 degrees and higher over the week! On June 29-30th Miracle Wilson went to Young Harris, GA to set a booth up at the 2nd Made in Georgia Festival, bringing awareness to food insecurity in their region. Northern Georgia has many cities and towns that spread out due to the terrain they are a part of, the Appalachian Mountain, which creates challenges to accessing fresh food. With thousands of attendees between Saturday and Sunday, Miracle saw this as a great opportunity to network and possibly recruit volunteers. This was the first time Society of St. Andrew had been a part of an event in north Georgia, especially at an event where most of the other booths had something to sell or offer.

Expectations for the booth were moderate, but within the first 30 minutes the table was booming with interest, and people wanted to hear more about food insecurity in their communities and how they could help. Several families came by and talked with Miracle, and studied a map of Georgia that highlighted the food insecure areas. Some people even shared that some areas were much worse than what the map had projected. This was very refreshing because the festival, not only sold products but also had people become educated on food waste happening in Georgia. Although Miracle had nothing to “offer” she did have a lot of information to offer that will help those in need.

Not only did Miracle speak with to her fellow Georgians but also people from Florida and Alabama who seeks to carry out their interest with Society of St. Andrew branches in each of those states. Miracle’s focus was making connections and just hoping to get the word out, but all expectations were exceeded. Five people were even so thankful for her presence that they donated money to the organization, and many others suggested farms and other places for potential gleanings. Miracle spread the word about food insecurity in north Georgia and gave people the opportunity to be involved and volunteer to beat hunger in their state.

~Another great June highlight: Miracle received her first donations as a VISTA, which included watermelons and peaches!

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