Starting Our Own Food Revolution

 We welcome Ann McManus, director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania to Poverty’s Edge.  Ann is an ardent supporter of access to fresh food. She has been director of Second Harvest Food Bank since 1999.  Thanks for contributing!

 Have you ever had a fresh apple? What a silly question, and yet, many children who live in our service area may not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This is especially until now, true if they live in the inner cities where food shopping opportunities are limited. It was even more likely if their families relied heavily on the Second Harvest pantry network for the food that they consumed.

Jamie Oliver, British chef and food revolutionary traveled to the US in 2010 to work with children and school meal personnel inHuntington,WV. He found first graders who misidentified common foods like tomatoes, but knew what tomato ketchup is. The puzzled looks on their faces when he showed them potatoes were priceless!

                                   

Last summer, the Allentown Health Bureau, with funding from a Community Development Block Grant, distributed donated fresh fruits and vegetable for several weeks at the city’s playgrounds to the great delight of the playground program participants. Second Harvest will pick up where the green cart left off by offering fresh fruit (currently apples and pears) and vegetables (right now we have potatoes) through our member agencies throughout the region. A new walk-in cooler, made possible by the support of TD Bank and The Century Fund, allows us to accept fresh foods we previously had to refuse.

We happily accept gardeners’ excess produce. Did you have more fruit on your trees or zucchini in your garden than your family can consume? In fact, why don’t you plan to plant extra this coming spring? It will find a home and probably be consumed very quickly by a family whose “fruit” would be canned applesauce otherwise.

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