Harvest C.R.O.P.S. (Community Residents Offering Produce Seasonally) is currently gleaning at over 3 ½ times volume from last year. The first quarter of 2016 had a yield of 27,212 lbs vs. 2015 annual total at 31,150 lbs. Our first quarter also showed the increase in the wonderful people that are helping make this happen with 30 residents donating their bounty and 231 volunteers spending multiple hours picking.
To handle this surge we are now offering a number of different ways to volunteer such as businesses doing team building events, food pantries providing their own volunteers to pick locally and transport directly back to their pantry for distribution to those they serve. We are engaging with large youth organizations in San Diego County to provide programs for gleaning as well as learning about waste, food recovery opportunities and being of service to those that need it.
Besides adding to our Volunteer drive we are in need of operational funds. We are still borrowing the Founders truck and trailer and are in need of funds to pay for the additional gas, office equipment and volunteer insurance that we need to meet the growing demand. We provide a value added service when monetarily valued at $.75 cents per pound we have already added over $20K worth of food to the existing food stream this year with a potential of over $81K for 2016 at our current rate.
We are putting out a call to organizations that have existing public information materials they are willing to share. We need curriculum and marketing materials for adults as well as 4th through 12th graders. These materials are needed no later than the end of April 2016 for curriculum selection and prep for the start of our summer programs in June 2016. We are interested in teaching about the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy and how the public can actually do something to help feed those that need it.
Please help us with our mission to help feed the hungry of San Diego County. Thank you for your support.
Chair, Harvest C.R.O.P.S.