Harvest-to-Home Giveaway!

17 Dec

This week and last, I sent home large bags of fresh-grown lettuce and spinach from the Edible Garden to school families.*

We’ve done this sort of giveaway before, and I’ll tell you why:

1. We can find good homes for vegetables that might otherwise languish uneaten in the garden.

2. Families who receive something fresh from the garden become instant fans. The garden can always use fans.

3. Fresh, nutritious foods have become luxury goods that many families can’t afford.

Let’s talk about that troubling #3. I just finished reading a recent Newsweek cover story called “Divided We Eat.” The thrust of the article was that in modern America, “the richest Americans can afford to buy berries out of season out of season at Whole Foods, while the food insecure often eat what they can: highly caloric, mass-produced foods like pizza and packaged cakes that fill them up quickly.”

I don’t want to go all preachy on you, but it troubles me that people are eating in two different Americas. About 13% of N.C. households are food insecure. Roughly 60% of our school’s children are on Free & Reduced Lunch, an indicator of poverty.

So this is something small we can do: Share the bounty of our school’s garden with the people in our community. Bridge the “Dinner Divide” with a gift of salad or spinach.

And keep working as a community on a more sustainable solution.

* I don’t know the identities of the families receive the giveaway veggies. I package up the goods; our school’s administration makes the deliveries.

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4 Responses to “Harvest-to-Home Giveaway!”

  1. mombarnes December 17, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    This made me cry – happy cry and sad cry and proud (of you) cry.

  2. Belinda @zomppa December 18, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Thanks for the great reference. This is such an important and critical issue, and one that we can’t just ignore. It is initiatives like this and people like you who are crucial to finding ways to bring fresh, nutritious food as the rule, not the exception.

    • Alice Bumgarner December 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

      Thanks, Belinda! I think hunger and food insecurity are the sorts of issues that feel so huge that we don’t feel we can do anything about them. Even this small project felt like a drop in the bucket. But better to focus on the opportunity than the obstacles.

  3. Kristen December 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Hooray for free, fresh spinach!

    I was a single parent for a few years, and I really understand the thinking behind trying to buy as much food for your buck that you can. Not only did I have very little money for food, I also had very little time to prepare it after coming home from work and taking care of 2 very young children. So what did I do? I bought frozen vegetables and pastas, chicken on sale, cheap fruits when I could. Even trying to be healthy, I couldn’t afford the more nutritious and more expensive vegetables and fruits. I also didn’t have the energy to think about how to serve things like kale to my kids-so I didn’t. When you have, say, $20 to get a certain amount of food for your family, frozen $1 bag of vegetables look really good. So does anything else on sale..

    I also didn’t want to waste my money on foods that I didn’t think my kids would eat. I wanted to purchase “tried and true” items that wouldn’t be thrown away.

    At the time WIC paid for some nutritious things like milk and eggs, but I don’t remember being able to buy much in the way of fruits and veggies….

    Things are different now for our family, thankfully. I cringe when I think of the things we ate.

    Kristen

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