Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fresh Squash - A Summer Treat

I often hear people talk about how food pantries cannot distribute fresh fruits and vegetables.  And/or that poor people don't know how to use fresh fruits and vegetables.  Yet, last year, nearly half of the food that Foodshare distributed was fresh produce! 

Yesterday, I received this e-mail from St. Vincent de Paul in Middletown which further demonstrates just how untrue these assumptions are!

"A truckload of squash weighing in at 738 pounds was donated to Amazing Grace Food Pantryrecently! St. Vincent de Paul Middletown is grateful to local gardeners at Fair Weather Acres, a 600 acre farm and stand in Rocky Hill who delivered an all-time high record of squash, zucchini and other fresh produce to people in need in our community. 

"Kathleen Kelly, Coordinator at Amazing Grace Food Pantry, a program of St. Vincent de Paul Middletown said this is by far the largest donation of produce in the eleven year history of Amazing Grace. 'There are all kinds of squash---yellow, zucchini, some interesting ones I've never seen! The people we serve love it.'

"Families who use the food pantry for three days' worth of groceries each month to supplement their already stretched food bill often have to forego pricy, fresh produce at conventional food markets.

"With a pile of produce like this, you might think veggie lovers at the food pantry will be all set for the rest of the summer, but in reality it will all be gone in just a few weeks. 'We can give out a few more pieces instead of just one per family, but that's about it,' Kathleen said.

"Amazing Grace is now serving over 1,020 families each month, a 10 percent increase over last year. That is why the need for food donations, especially for fresh produce is on-going. If you have  bounty from your garden, please bring it to Amazing Grace Food Pantry, 16 Stack Street, Middletown, CT, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10-5 p.m., or Saturdays, 9-1."

Are you a farmer or gardener who has excess produce you could donate?  Go here to learn more about how to donate to Foodshare or here to find a local food pantry or community kitchen in your town.

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