We often think of donating non-perishable food items to food banks, but neglect the importance of fresh produce. Fresh produce has a direct correlation to better health and more active lifestyles. Being on a tight budget can quickly nix a healthy lifestyle and more often than not, food insecure families do not have healthy food. In many food-insecure families, cheaper food becomes necessary to stay within budget. Those cheaper foods lack the nutritional benefits that fresh produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy choices, and lean proteins add into your everyday diets.
CFWMC understands the need for fresh foods. CFWMC ED, Lori Weston stated: “In our role as a food bank, we are constantly striving to make sure that people get better food all the time and what is better than fresh? Fresh produce is top of the line. So, making that available to them and letting them use it as they wish instead of just dumping out of a can.”
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System and the Walmart Foundation both donated grants to CFWMC which provided us not only money to purchase fresh produce, but to also obtain a refrigerated van. With the grant from the Walmart Foundation, the CFWMC was able to purchase a refrigerated van that will help ease transportation of fresh produce. Mimi Prada, spoke of the importance of how the van will help CFWMC: “…because in the heat of the summer, things wilt quickly after they are picked up.”
With the help of the grants, CFWMC was able to do our first produce drop in Stoneboro, PA on June 13th. Harvest Helpings will continue to the CFWMC’s agencies throughout the county, which desperately need fresh produce.
CFWMC would like to thank Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System and the Walmart Foundation for their generous grants which provided us the opportunity to spread fresh produce to our communities.
As of now, CFWMC is not currently looking for financial contributions for the Harvest Helpings Program, however, donors are always welcomed and encouraged to donate fresh produce through our Plant-a-Row program.