Fighting hunger under the Harvest Moon

Posted on: September 27th, 2013 by Judy 1 Comment

donation for colorado floods

Here in Colorado we usually spend our summers looking skyward and hoping for those elusive drops of rain that might give us a break from our rigorous garden watering schedules. This year was no different, until the thing we wished for showed up all at once and in amounts no one could fathom. It quickly became obvious that the hardships to come would be heartbreaking.

Like so many other difficulties, this turn of events has made many of us grateful for what we have, even if it’s only the shirts on our backs. Those of us whose homes and gardens were left unscathed were presented with a great opportunity to give what we love, OUR GARDENS.

With the Harvest Moon on the horizon, and Hunger Action Month upon us, it became obvious that we, the employees of Botanical Interests, had an opportunity that we couldn’t resist. It was time to use the gardens we’ve nurtured all summer to feed the community we love. It was time for a Harvest Moon Drive!

Now, it might sound a little strange with the solemn atmosphere surrounding the flooding in Colorado, but we had fun! There is something about getting together with people you enjoy and putting your hearts into helping others that just puts a smile on your face…that, and Judy’s smokin’ hot retro truck!

Those of us with produce still in our gardens gathered up what we could and filled Judy’s truck with vegetables and herbs to help feed those in need. Our donations went to Community Food Share, a great local organization that feeds those in need all year.

The giving felt great, and in the process we learned a few things about donating fresh food. First, no donation is too small. In the words of Tom Reed, Food Procurement Manager at Community Food Share, “You may not feed everybody, but you’ll feed somebody.” I love this sentiment, especially because it means we can all make a difference. Second, Tom encouraged us consider the delivery of our provisions as part of the donation. Many hunger relief services operate on a shoestring budget and don’t have the means to pick up donations. Just getting the food to them can mean the difference between someone eating or not. Third, fresh is better than perfect. As long as what you give is whole and fresh, any small blemishes are immaterial and the donation is always appreciated.

I guess it shouldn’t be any surprise, but it is reassuring, that any one of us can help these organizations, like Community Food Share, that are meant to help us all. You don’t have to have a large garden full of perfect vegetables to make a difference in the lives of those facing hunger. Any one of us may find ourselves grateful for the support that gardeners give these organizations. It seems like now is the perfect time for all of us to help, no matter where we live. Let’s put the last few days of Hunger Action Month to good use. Go out to your garden and don’t let anything go to waste. Let’s all take a bundle of kale, those last tomatoes, a few potatoes, some fresh herbs and even some winter squash to our local food bank, shelter, disaster relief center, or anyone who helps feed those in need, and make a difference. There is someone in need everywhere and if we all do a little, we can accomplish a lot.

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One Response

  1. Erin Riley says:

    Great job and great blog. I’m in Los Angeles and my landscaping business shares our client’s bounty with food bank families. Very rewarding. Here’s a blog I wrote on the subject.

    Sharing our bounty fulfills the covenant made with our miraculous, food-giving planet.
    We need to get our food to those who want it.
    Our people are in need of food. They are also in need of super-nutritious foods. We all are. Yet finding truly organic, safe, natural foods from trust-worthy companies is getting harder and harder.
    People are also hungry for care. And compassion. And kindness. A harvest delivered by a friend to feed their bellies fills their souls.
    And you are fulfilling a great covenant when you complete the circle, when you hand over a bag of organic, homegrown, just-picked fruits and vegetables and see the look in a mom and dad’s eye. You feel it.
    Therefore, the bounties and harvests we reap from our organic, home gardens are priceless, and only to become more so.
    I urge you to plant a vegetable garden and share it with your neighbors. I urge you to find out who in your community wants help…might not be who you think!
    I urge you to invent systems to gather and distribute the home harvest. Parent volunteers at my child’s school created a food bank and families at the school were invited to use it. We now donate food from our school garden to those families, and I am able to donate harvests from my client’s gardens, and my own garden, to this fresh food bank as well.
    I think an honor system farm stand at local community gardens would also be a good avenue for food distribution. Those with extras and those in need could use it at will.
    When I first moved to NYC, I heard the Metropolitan Museum was free on Tuesdays, but when I arrived, I saw there was a “recommended donation.” I was flat broke – just moved to New York! and now crestfallen. But then I saw the donation was 10 cents. 10 cents! There were tall plexiglass boxes and those things was positively full of dimes. I loved that. The museum really wanted to people to see the art. So they made it happen.
    We can do that.
    This is real help. This is not politics. This is about the wonderful feeling we all get when we give back and are allowed to receive.
    No one wants a hand out. Hands are meant for helping and holding. And digging. Weeding. Seeding. Pruning. Picking. Sorting. Cleaning. Caring. And hat’s off to all those who do the cooking and cleaning up too! <3

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