Finally, spring is here and summer’s on the way! What does summer mean for our Food Rescue work? At Food For Free, summer is the season to:
1. Grow food for those in need.
Our Field of Greens kicked the season off on May 6th, when our farm staff gathered a few volunteers to plant collard greens and cabbage. Most of the farming is done by Food For Free volunteers, who work the land every Wednesday morning.
“I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else,” says Matt Crawford, last year’s assistant farm manager. “Being outside, working with my hands and knowing that I am making healthy, nutrient-rich food available for people who need it most is incredibly gratifying.”
2. Enjoy farmers’ market bounty.
You probably love farmers’ markets, and so do we! We pick up donations of fresh veggies, fruits, and bread from 12 farmers’ markets in Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, Arlington, Belmont, and Watertown. Last year, we collected 108,000 lbs of amazing food from these generous farmers!
3. Get back on the ol’ bicycle.
We’re dreaming of leisure rides along the Charles, but we haven’t forgotten that bikes (and their riders!) also work hard for food rescue:
When possible, we avoid putting a gas vehicle on the road by working with Metro Pedal Power. Their fabulous cyclists pick up food for us at four farmers’ markets, and drop off for us at several youth programs.
Additionally, this is the time of year when our team starts to gather for our second-largest fundraising event of the year: The Ride for Food. Anyone who wants to join or help spread the word can do so here!
4. Go fresh-and-local with a farm share.
Several wonderful CSA farms donate their produce to Food For Free: Red Fire Farm and Stone Soup Farm both donate unclaimed CSA produce to Food For Free, and Waltham Fields Community Farm’s CSA membership fees help them grow produce to donate to Food For Free.
5. Hang out with the kids in your life.
Maybe you’re looking forward to a visit with nieces, nephews, or grandchildren, or summer fun with your own kids.
As for us, this is the time of year when we add summer programs for low-income youth to our regular of delivery sites. Knowing that one in five American children faces food insecurity—and the learning & health challenges that come with it—we are glad to support these awesome kids through the summer, as well as throughout the year by delivering food to weekend backpack programs, school-based pantries, and others.
There you have it: our Top 5 list for the summer! Want to get in on it?
If you want to join in on a summer of food rescue:
- Join us on Wednesday mornings at Field of Greens: Individuals and groups both welcome. Sign up here.
- Help us pick up tasty Farmers’ Market veggies: Early evening shifts. Sign up here.
- Join the team or spread the word about our Ride for Food: It’s a gorgeous fall bike ride (short or long) that helps us provide healthy food for all. No need to be an athlete—casual riders welcome, too! More info here.
- Kids & families: Kids can get their hands dirty at Field of Greens (sign up here), and bike riders as young as 14 can join in on the Ride for Food. Young volunteers must BYOA (Bring Your Own Adult).
Read the rest of our Spring Newsletter!