Yesterday’s New York Times had a story about how a group of Californians were harvesting unwanted fruit from old orchards and homewoners who had ornamental fruit trees and bringing it to local hard pressed food banks.
I told this same story on Saturday in my Between the Rows column about how local farmers here bring leftover produce to the Center for Self-Reliance on Osgood Street (413-773-5029) in Greenfield after the Saturday Farmers Market! And then I learned that it is not only the Center that is getting and needs – excess produce.
Peggy Rockwood at the Salvation Army on Chapman Street (413-773-3154) says they accept any amount of fresh produce from home gardeners. If the head of cabbage or two tomatoes can’t be used in the noonday meal they serve five days a week, it will go into a bag of emergency food.
Mary Cavanaugh at the Survival Center on Forbes Street (413-863-9549) in Turners Falls says they now distribute up to 23 THOUSAND pounds of food a month and welcome fresh produce. No amount of fresh produce, vegetables or fruit is too small.
Of course, if you have no produce, you can always make a monetary donation to help these organizations whose need increases every month. All of them report serving more people in need as the economy continues to falter. With produce or money we can all help sustain the health of our community.