In McLean, a community tucked inside Fairfax County, not everyone can access the food they need for good health. I interviewed Julie Mendoza about her efforts to connect hungry families in McLean with fresh produce.
Julie knew that Share McLean, a food pantry that serves hungry families in the area, often lacked fresh produce. As she was walking through the McLean community garden one day, she noticed that there was an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. She decided she would try to facilitate a relationship between the garden and Share McLean, calling it The Gardeners’ Share of McLean.
Young gardeners at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church grow food for The Gardener’s Share.
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This week, USDA and other federal departments and agencies are recognizing the huge success of the 4th annual Feds Feed Families Food Drive. USDA employees, farmers, and friends raised a total of 2.77 million pounds of food this summer! The U.S. Forest Service was a big part of this effort and the stories below captures a snapshot of how several different Forest Service offices helped fill the shelves of food banks and food pantries in their communities.
In Duluth, Minnesota, the Superior National Forest Supervisor’s Office set a goal of 2,500 pounds for the food drive. As an incentive to encourage their team, Forest Supervisor Brenda Halter and Deputy Supervisor Tim Dabney promised they would wear Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl costumes and greet people in Duluth’s Canal Park if they reached their goal. The staff pulled together and donated 4,500 pounds of food to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. With the goal met and far exceeded, the Forest Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor put on the Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl costumes! Read more »
Volunteers unloading the gleaned watermelons at a food bank in Missouri.
What do the National Resource Conservation Service , Farm Service Agency, Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and 16 tons of watermelons have in common? These USDA agencies have joined together in Southeastern Missouri to donate literally tons of watermelon to the food banks in Sikeston and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. This massive donation is the result of gleaning, which is the act of collecting excess foods from farmers markets, farms, stores, restaurants, gardens and elsewhere and donating that food to those in need. Read more »
Ladysmith Service Center employees with a Feds Feed Families donation. Left to right Rick Cote (FSA PT) – Sandy Voldberg(FSA-PT) – Mike Koehler(NRCS-DC) – Kathy Brihn(FSA-CED)
At over 1,600 field offices across the country, USDA employees are playing their part to help reach our 2012 Feds Feed Families goal of 1.8 million pounds of food. Feds Feeds Families seeks to help local food banks and pantries provide for their communities over the summer months—a time of year characterized by increased need and decreased giving. We are in the final month of this year’s drive and it is more important than ever to stay motivated to both reach our goal and help our neighbors in need. Read more »
On Wednesday, August 29th at 2pm EDT, USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will host the next presentation in its “Together We Can” webinar series to introduce partners to the resources and programs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Wednesday’s webinar will focus on resources for building local and regional food systems in your community. Read more »
La llave para alcanzar a las comunidades elegibles que no están recibiendo asistencia nutricional es encontrar líderes dentro de la comunidad en los que las personas confían. La organización Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) de Minnesota ha adoptado efectivamente un modelo de alcance comunitario el cual ha tenido gran impacto usando el modelo holístico de las Promotoras (o trabajadores de salud comunitarios) CLUES es un asociado de La Mesa Completa que tiene como misión proveer apoyo a aquellos individuos en la comunidad Hispana que están enfrentado una crisis. Para ayudar a los Latinos necesitados, ellos han desarrollado un modelo de dar asistencia centrado en la familia con la idea de que la familia y el hogar son los recursos de apoyo más valiosos.
CLUES elige los líderes comunitarios para ser promotores y los entrena en cómo deben de dar la información de educación nutricional y alimentación saludable, prevención de la obesidad y diabetes, y la importancia de la actividad física, esto durante visitas individuales a cada casa. Los promotores latinos se han convertido en el puente entre la gente y el gobierno federal, estatal, local y diferentes instituciones los cuales ofrecen recursos a los que las personas son referidos por los promotores y es aquí donde la confianza es crucial. Read more »