Our 2nd Season
We grew by leaps and bounds over the course of our second year – and first full growing season – of donating healthy food to communities in need. Having a few extra weeks in the Spring to seed, along with the addition of six new raised beds and some first steps towards nursing the fruit tree orchard back to health, allowed us to grow about 2,000 lbs of produce at our farm in 2018 – 250% (!) of what we grew last year. We also continued to aggregate and distribute surplus produce from neighboring growers like Granor Farm and Tomato Bliss, adding up to 2,400 lbs – up 50% from last year. That adds up to over 29,000 servings of fresh, sustainably grown fruits & vegetables donated to SW Michigan communities in need – more than double the 13,600 servings we donated last year!
But we didn't just donate produce in 2018; we also started fleshing out the two other primary elements of the Foundation’s mission: education and support for local organizations and projects that aim to improve the dietary health of underserved communities.
We partnered with River Valley School District, Chikaming Open Lands, and others to offer six different presentations and workshops focused on healthy eating and organic gardening to people of all ages.
We interacted directly with food donation recipients on a more regular basis, discussing food preparation and nutrition. We especially enjoyed hearing from people about their favorite vegetables, and their favorite ways to cook them!
These friendly conversations were augmented by free information cards that we supplied along with each of our produce donations. The cards include simple recipes and nutritional info for produce we regularly donated, such as lettuce, kale, and green beans.
We sponsored four Feeding America mobile food pantries in Galien and New Troy, MI, two communities that had previously lacked food security assistance. Each mobile food pantry featured HFFF produce in addition to a variety of produce and food staples supplied by a large Feeding America truck over the course of about an hour and a half.
We co-organized and supplied produce to two other Feeding America mobile food pantries that were sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Mediator.
Our most sincere gratitude goes out to all of the great food pantries and organizations that worked with us in 2018 to get healthy food to those who need it most. Stay tuned for all kinds of exciting things in the works for 2019!