From the first week Growing Home broke ground, we formed a partnership with the Migrant Education Program and United Communities in the Houston Community Center. In conjunction with them, we were able to organize six health and safety workshops with at least 40 clients in attendance at each event. Topics ranged from dental health and nutrition to safety in the neighborhood. We quickly learned at a nutrition workshop that the gardens could not provide for the large need of healthy fruits and vegetables.
As a result, we formed a donation and gleaning network. Through this we were able to collect and distribute nearly 30,000 pounds of produce at a value of $47,977. We reached out and sourced from local farms, farmers markets, the produce distribution center, and more. Our weekly fruit distribution from The FruitGuys has been able to continue throughout the winter. Every week we distribute over 700 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables as a part of the Growing Home Community Gardens. The donations that the FruitGuys provide have provide much needed produce for the nutrition of over 90 Bhutanese and Burmese refugee families in South Philly. The weekly donation not only provides free produce, but also brings together the refugee community, connects them with neighbors, and provides us with a time to organize other community events addressing health, nutrition, and safety.
Check out the great article by Michael Matza from the Philadelphia Inquirer about our Fruit Distribution. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20120307_Donated_fruit_a_godsend_to_new_wave_of_immigrants.html
Video Clip South Philly Fruit Distribution