Although I did not grow up on a farm, living in rural Pennsylvania did give me an affinity for nature. As a teenager, I even tried my hand at gardening. My garden prospered with fresh, plump tomatoes, crunchy peppers and firm zucchini. I continued to plant seeds year after year. My desire to provide fresh vegetables for my family kept me digging.
Last fall, I left Pennsylvania to join the mission of the Capital Area Food Bank and run the 2014 Fresh Produce Grant, as a member of the Brethren Volunteer Service. This program connects our partner agencies with fresh, local produce that’s grown without pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
Every year, the food bank teams up with two Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms to offer this grant. Clagett Farm is in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Waterpenny Farm is near Sperryville, Virginia. Partner agencies in DC and Maryland pick up produce directly from Clagett Farm, while the selected partner agency in Virginia picks up Waterpenny produce from the food bank’s Northern Virginia distribution center.
Each participating partner agency received over 4,000 pounds of produce from the grant in 2013. Clagett Farm grows over 40 different types of produce, while Waterpenny Farm grows about two dozen types.
Nine of the food bank’s partner agencies are awarded the Fresh Produce Grant every year. Not only do our partners gain access to delicious, seasonal produce throughout the growing season, but they also receive the materials and support to educate their clients about the produce and how to use it.
No, I’m not gardening anymore, but I’m helping to provide fruits and vegetables to people and to educate communities about healthy eating. I’m so honored to be a part of this team of nine organizations, two farms and the Capital Area Food Bank.
Click here for more information about and to apply for the program. Applications will be accepted until February 17.
Any questions? Contact April Moyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 202-644-9846.
Photos by F. Delventhal on Flickr