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SQUASH OUT HUNGER IN CLALLAM COUNTY

09.11.2017 in Uncategorized

Harvest Against Hunger AmeriCorps VISTA member Juliann Finn is serving as the second year VISTA with the Washinton State University Extension of Clallam County. She describes a recent community project she supported in her community:

Community champion and retired farmer Don Johnson donated 4,000 lbs. of winter squash to the Peninsula Food Coalition (PFC) this October.  The hubbard and banana squash were then distributed to 13 of the PFC’s partners, from the Sequim Food Bank to the Hoh Tribal Food Bank on the west end of the county. A trunk full of squash was set aside for a processing event on October 30th.

 

The Port Angeles School District allowed the PFC to rent space in a newly vacant culinary teaching kitchen as a way to explore new uses for the facility. Coalition members and over a dozen community volunteers were able to process the squash into 19 gallons of frozen cubed squash and 36 quarts of pureed squash. The processed squash was delivered to the Port Angeles and Sequim Food Bank. Three representatives from the school district were able to attend and agreed that it was a great trial run of community-led processing.  

This event wouldn’t have been possible without a pilot processing event in 2016.  The first applesauce processing event was led by first year Harvest Against Hunger AmeriCorps VISTA, Dan Littlefield, where 50 gallons of applesauce was made for Meals on Wheels at the Elwha Heritage Center.  The clients enjoyed the product and volunteers enjoyed the process. “Squash out Hunger” was the last of 7 processing events held in 2017. In addition, in partnership with the Port Angeles Community Center and Forks Feeding 5,000, the PFC held 3 applesauce processing events with each organization.

These events are the manifestation of a united community: Don Johnson has offered to grow the same amount of squash for donation next year, the volunteers signed up to return next year, and the gleaning program continues to grow. Finally, WSU Clallam County Extension will be fostering this growth over the next two years with a NIFA grant aimed at creating community cooking classes with local produce.

 

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HAH National – Gleaning in Colorado

14.07.2017 in Uncategorized

Here is an excerpt from an article from the Daily Camera (Boulder, CO) highlighting the work of our Harvest VISTA Leigh Pond and her work with Community Food Share. Click here to read the full story and view additional photos.

Leigh Pond, CFS’s AmeriCorps VISTA Produce and Gleaning volunteer coordinator, a position created in November, is developing signs to identify what’s locally grown.

In addition to Farm to Food Bank, Pond coordinates CFS’s Garden Share and Gleaning programs. Garden Share encourages donations of fresh produce directly from home gardeners to CFS during business hours.

“A lot of people don’t know about this program, it just went to the wayside, essentially. So that’s where I’m coming in and trying to make it a more well-known program — so people know that you can donate to your local food bank and pantries,” Pond said. “Fresh produce is something that we love to accept. It’s one of the hardest things to come by, one of the most expensive things to get.”

Pond added, “The usual produce at food banks is seconds. For people to come in and receive a nice, fresh tomato that was picked that day, is completely rewarding for them.”

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HAH VISTA in Virginia Builds Inaugural Community Garden

03.07.2017 in Uncategorized

Harvest Against Hunger launched its National Pilot in November of 2016, and the projects, in Virginia, Colorado, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi, are in full swing! Here is an update from Virginia:

Harvest Against Hunger VISTA Amy Reagan is placed with Food for Others in Fairfax, Virginia. Amy managed the planning, volunteer coordination, and construction of Food for Others’ inaugural food bank garden, which was built at Peace Lutheran Church and is located a few miles away from the warehouse. Volunteers constructed the garden, and the gate was constructed later by a youth group. All of the produce that will be grown is client requested, based on a survey Amy conducted at the beginning of her term. Crops include: salsa peppers, tomatoes, zucchini,  bell peppers, beans, and cucumbers.

Volunteers building the beds

Completed beds

Amy Reagan and Annie Turner of Food for Others

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