Since the farm plots cannot provide enough fresh vegetables and produce for the hundreds of people involved in the project, Nationalities Service Center (NSC) and Adam, NSC’s farm manager, have organized a food donation/gleaning network.
Over the past three months, the farmers have gathered thousands of pounds of food from local farms, farmers markets, and distribution centers. A few times, the farmers drove out to partnering farms and gleaned from their fields. This means that they picked vegetables that are still good but the farmer was unable to sell them or did not have the time to harvest them. They have also collected food from from the Produce Distribution Center. One day, a few weeks ago, Growing Home received 2 pallets of eggplant (approximately 30 boxes or around 600 pounds of eggplant)! Amazingly, the families took it all by the end of the day. There are also newly established fruit donations on Mondays, from the FruitGuys, which are very popular with the families too and seem to be gone in no time.
In addition to all of these great opportunities, the families are now connected with the Philabundance Fresh For All Giveaway. Every Friday, they can pick up fruits, vegetables, and bread from the South Philly Distribution site. At the health meeting held at Growing Home, Adam and volunteers help the families fill out the application. Over 70 of the Burmese and Bhutanese families have now signed up and have started making weekly visits to the distribution site for potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, and much more depending on the week.