Friday, May 16, 2014
BiMart’s donation of seeds will help LBFS increase the amount of healthy, locally grown produce available to those in need through their 74 local partner agencies that include emergency food pantries and shelters, soup kitchens, child and senior care centers, residential care homes, and gleaning groups.
Seed packets have gone out across Food Share’s two-county area. As temperatures start to rise this spring, tender little veggie starts will be making an appearance in gardens aimed at helping people in need access fresh produce.
Cindy Rice, manager of the Sweet Home Emergency Ministries food pantry in Linn County, took some of the seeds and began distributing them to clients accessing emergency food boxes. She reports that many clients are excited to grow vegetables at home, and are planning to contribute excess produce back to the pantry.
Also receiving seeds were members of LBFS’s 14 gleaning groups, which serve more than 7,000 low income people in Linn and Benton counties. Many of these low-income gleaners are seniors with gardening experience, as well as families eager to learn how to grow food for their children. Access to free seeds is a real benefit for them.
In addition to individuals who received seeds, LBFS offered seed packets to several local programs. The CSC Youth Garden, for example, will grow some of the seeds in their garden at the corner of 2nd and Western in Corvallis, as well as the plot donated to the Youth Garden by Trillium Children’s Farm Home on Trillium’s acreage in Corvallis. A portion of what these young people learn to grow is given to partner gleaning groups.
LBFS Director Mike Gibson notes that Food Share has made it a priority to increase the amount of fresh produce for emergency food boxes. With an increase of 28% this year, a total of over one million pounds of produce will be distributed. Gibson also reports that the overall need for emergency food in Linn and Benton counties is at its highest point ever, with LBFS distributing 5.5 million pounds of food in FY 2013-14 compared to 5.15 million pounds last year.
“Linn Benton Food Share is thankful for the generous donation from Bi-Mart,“ Mike stated. “These seeds will provide produce for people who are at risk of going hungry. We always feel good when we can increase the nutritional content of the food we distribute—and in this case, the people planting the seeds have a new way to provide for their families.”
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
The food will go a long way in meeting demand for food in Linn and Benton counties, which hit a high of 5.5 million pounds for fiscal year 2013-2014, an increase from 5.15 million pounds the previous year.
Thank you to United States Postal Service Letter Carriers for gathering the food and all of our volunteers for coming out to lend a hand!
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