Georgia’s fertile ground and gardening weather is calling!
Last week, we held the second of two Youth Summit programs of the summer. A group of 17 students, each from different counties in Georgia, gathered to learn and witness the reality of hunger, and to come up with ideas to help fight it. As they got to know one another, a bond was formed and they really came together to serve the community.
Last week, we hosted 18 high school students from across the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s service area for the summer’s first Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty. Through interactive and hands-on experiences, the annual four-day summit educates teens about hunger and poverty issues in Georgia and our nation.
This week, we’ve asked our staff who utilize volunteers daily to write a small post about why volunteers are so important to the Food Bank and to their program. From Fred Conrad and the Community Gardens team:
This time of year is always one of the busiest for us--it's time for ACFB’s Community Gardens project to help plant and maintain more than 150 gardens across metro Atlanta.
I have a headache.
My nose is stuffy and my mouth is dry. I'm trying not to bend over much--hurts my head.
The basic problem is not a problem, it's a pollen. My honeybees are flying home covered with the yellow and orange stuff. Gobs and gobs of it to feed the babies. And the babies are hungry, they are trying to grow fast to be in time for spring. Honeybees have a 'do or die' attitude toward spring, and so do I. Last week, I was trying to plow mud to get some land ready to plant.
This past summer, we had a group of volunteers in our Product Rescue Center doing exactly what they were trained to do: keep the usable food and toss anything that is beyond a certain expiration date. Certainly a bag of black-eyed peas dated 1970 would qualify for the “toss” category, right? Turns out those peas got a second chance.
Apples. Pumpkin. Squash. Sweet Potatoes. When you mention these fruits and veggies, they not only conjure up imagery of fall, they are also known for being healthy, good for you foods. Unfortunately, healthy, fresh produce can be hard to come by when you're struggling to put food on the table.
The Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run set up their community garden with the goal of donating 20% of what they grew to the local food pantry, Malachi’s Storehouse (also an ACFB partner agency). In this video, they talk about getting the garden started (it only took six weeks!), what they grow and why it was so important to them to make donations to Malachi’s.
ACFB recently got 42,840 pounds of sweet potatoes from the Society of St. Andrew. Getting these potatoes has been quite the Food Bank affair. Not only are we getting them ready for agency distribution, the sprouts are being pulled off to be used in Community Gardens and the already broken up ones are getting composted!
Last year, we started turning our annual report into a video. It seemed to us that not only did we enjoy it, you did too. So, without further ado, check out what was accomplished with your help in 2011!
We’re calling all green-thumbed gurus, soldiers of the soil, even rookies to the rake – It’s time to don your gardening gloves and hit the dirt for a good cause! Do your part to help weed out hunger by transforming your garden into a full plate for an empty belly. You can help break the cycle of hunger this growing season by integrating fruits and veggies into your garden and donating the surplus of your harvest.