“Big Community Harvest Day” with Food Bank Farmers; Organizations, Schools and Students Invited to Learn about Service Project Potential

bike powered veggie washer

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Press contact:
Barbara Archer
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“BIG COMMUNITY HARVEST DAY” WITH FOOD BANK FARMERS; ORGANIZATIONS, SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS INVITED TO LEARN ABOUT SERVICE PROJECT POTENTIAL
Volunteers will harvest produce to donate to Food Bank of Yolo

Davis, Calif., Sept. 9, 2013 ─ Yolo Food Connect organizer and Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor announced today a “Big Community Harvest Day” with the program Food Bank Farmers as part of the Yolo Farm to Every Fork event series.

Individuals, organizations and schools seeking potential service projects are invited to learn and talk with farmers about how local agriculture is helping with the issue of hunger in Yolo County.

The harvest day will take place on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m. to noon at Sloughside Farm, County Rd 31, 1/2 mile west of County Rd 95 between Davis and Winters .

Food Bank Farmers is an innovative, new program in Yolo County that took an unused piece of farmland and turned it into a food source for clients of the Yolo Food Bank, particularly for its program, Kids Farmers Market. Kids Farmers Market sets up markets at schools within Yolo County, sending children home with 10 pounds of produce for their families. Food Bank Farmers aims to provide about 10,000 pounds of produce to the food bank in its four-month growing season this year.

Volunteers have logged 450 hours to date and the farm can donate so much produce because 90% of the labor is also donated.

From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., visitors can observe current volunteers harvest, sort and wash vegetables. All produce is donated to the Yolo Food Bank. Guests can also see the farm’s bicycle-powered vegetable washer in action.

At 10 a.m., Supervisor Saylor will lead a discussion with the farmer behind the Food Bank Farmers project, Shane Tucker. The Yolo Food Bank’s executive director Kevin Sanchez will talk about hunger in our county and how the Food Bank Farmers program is making an impact on the food bank’s donations. Mary Kimball, executive director, Center for Land-based Learning will speak about how her organization gave critical farming advice to the project and how Food Bank Farmers employed a student from Center for Land-based Learning’s California Farm Academy program to manage their farm.

“In the course of researching ways that we could use this land to benefit the community, we learned that almost 18% of Yolo County’s population is food insecure (meaning they do not know where there next meal is coming from),” said Tucker. “We were disturbed that there was such a large need for healthy, nutritious food right here in Yolo County, despite the fact that Yolo County is one of the leading agricultural counties in California. This was a wake-up call for us as to how our land could make a big difference in our community.”

“Food Bank Farmers is an innovative program that can be replicated in other parts of our county and state to combat hunger,” said Saylor.

“This project is an inspirational example of how a community working together with existing resources can help its most vulnerable citizens through tough times.”

“Food Bank Farmers has made a huge impact on our ability to run Kids Farmers Market at four schools within the county,” said Sanchez. “Food from this farm is helping our clients get fresh produce in their daily diets.”

Yolo Farm to Every Fork emerged from a partnership of Yolo Food Connect and Yolo Ag & Food Alliance. These events dovetail with the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau’s “America’s Farm to Fork Capital” initiative.

This event is offered in partnership with Food Bank Farmers, Yolo Food Bank, The Center for Land-based Learning, Yolo Food Connect and the Yolo Ag & Food Alliance.

For more information, see www.foodbankfarmers.org.

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