The Brookhaven Village Association is requesting help by volunteering time on Wednesday mornings harvesting excess crops at the H.O.G. Farm.
Volunteers will pull from seasonal crops, wash, box, and deliver the fresh, nutritious produce to the food distribution programs at Mary Immaculate Food Pantry and Boys & Girls Club of Bellport, who also use the produce in their culinary program, teaching club kids how to prepare nutritious meals at home.
A Good Harvest program has an overwhelmingly positive reception among donation recipients. Fresh produce is not something food distribution participants see often, and it has been a huge success thanks to all their partners, H.O.G’s farmer Sean Pilager, the entire H.O.G. crew, A Good Harvest volunteers, the tireless volunteers at Mary Immaculate Food Pantry, and staff at Boys & Girls Club of Bellport.
A Good Harvest also connects the community to their food source with an education in farming. It links people to one another as community members. Retirees are welcome to join, with light work as they continue the program into the fall—a time when families in need can use the fresh produce most as kids return to school. Learn something new while helping others.
“The pantry volunteers are so excited for what we bring week to week. The recipients in the distribution program are overjoyed and the response has been so positive. Fresh produce is not something those struggling with food insecurity see often enough. We’re so, so happy to bring it,” said Good Harvest coordinator and Brookhaven Village Association Quality of Life chair and VP, Julia Villacara. “[I] get a double dose of joy when I deliver to Boys & Girls Club. Stephanie Delgado, chief of staff at the club, loves to tell me the latest adventures in the kitchen with the club kids. The B&G Club culinary program is using what we harvest to teach kids preparing their own nutritious meals at home.”
The club also distributes the produce to struggling families in our community. “When you look at the statistics of families with children and our elderly unable to keep up with food costs, it’s hard to look away,” she added.
The H.O.G. farm stand also accepts SNAP and WIC program food purchase assistance in their commitment to making nutritious, good food accessible for all.
Good Harvest is a success thanks to the volunteers that come to the farm every Wednesday morning from 9 to 11 a.m. According to Villacara, the program attracts young kids, teens, parents, retirees, and a visit from Girl Scout Troop 1179. Even generational family members come to help.
Good Harvest will continue every Wednesday morning into December.
“Now is a hard time. We’re losing our student volunteers just when families can use the food most, with kids going back to school. If you are a retiree looking to learn something new, I promise you an education with Good Harvest,” said Villacara. “You may never want to see another carrot again, but it’s worth it.”
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