Pennsylvania

Friend Inc. Community Services Wants Fresh Produce From Home Gardeners

Kutztown’s Friend Inc. Community Services is asking home gardeners to donate their surplus vegetables to the food pantry.

“I know I only planted three cucumbers, but now I have 800. Or tomatoes. Or onions. Just know that there is a food pantry in your area where you can desperately use fresh produce.

Jim Reece, executive director of Friend Inc., says part of Friend’s mission is not only to get food to people in need, but also to help people eat better. . (Submitted photo)

Operating since 1988, Friend operates a Self-Select Model Food Pantry on Noble Street in Cuttstown, a Student Pantry on the University of Cuttstown Campus, a monthly mobile market at Huf’s Union Church in Albertis, and a Pet Pantry on Noble Street. I’m here. position.

Reece wants the community to know that these are neighbors, colleagues and friends who could use a little help on their journey to self-sufficiency.

“We are here and working every day to alleviate the very real problems that families face on a daily basis,” he said. We are educators, providers and friends of those we work with.”

One of Friend’s missions is to help people eat better.

“Fresh food can be expensive, but it’s not, so we’re providing all the support we can to provide healthier family meals,” he said. “A community gardener can be a tremendous source of nutrition for these families. You will be more successful in eating properly.

A food pantry also allows for financial relief that can be spent on other priorities the family may have, he said.

One of the challenges Friend faces is accessing and distributing fresh produce.

“Sometimes we get some from the local food bank, but if we don’t have enough for the pantry day, we often go out and buy directly,” he said. We have some local gardeners who bring them, but more is always available, and it is easy to distribute two to three times the current production.”

Making a donation is as easy as completing an online form for Ample Harvest, a national non-profit organization. A friend is a food pantry that has been on Ample Harvest for over a year.

Friend operates a self-select food pantry on Noble Street in Kutztown. Offerings include fresh ingredients. (Submitted photo)
Friend Inc. operates a self-select model food pantry with fresh produce on Noble Street in Katstown. (Submitted photo)

“Ample Harvest was created with a simple mission to connect home gardeners and local food pantries,” says Reece. “If you’re a gardener, there’s nothing to do but look for local pantry listings in your neighborhood.”

Reece says the easiest way to help is to connect with your local food pantry. Visit the Ample Harvest website and www.ampleharvest.org Or call Helping Harvest at Berks Central Food Bank at 610-926-5802.

“Gardeners can bring us something extra, knowing it will be put to good use,” Reese said.

Support is also provided through monetary donations.

“Procuring, managing and distributing over £100,000 of food each year is very expensive,” he said. “Commercial freezer and refrigerator power alone puts a considerable strain on you. If you don’t garden, consider giving.”

To visit Donate www.friendinc.org.

Friend Inc. Community Services Wants Fresh Produce From Home Gardeners

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