Saturday, November 24, 2012

Salem Harvest: a different kind of party


By: Angela Chambers
 
For those who have already adopted a semi-environmentally friendly lifestyle it can feel lonely at times. Being indignant about toting reusable shopping bags around, taking mass transit to work even in the rainy Oregon weather or having a designated recycling area in your home where even your children know the difference between the paper and trash bin are just a few activities that can leave one isolated.
How then do you get others involved?
 
One community has embraced the idea of together making a collective impact. A local non-profit organization known as “Salem Harvest” connects farmers and backyard growers with volunteer pickers to harvest fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. This non-profit, grassroots organization connects farmers and backyard growers with volunteer pickers to harvest fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. Half of each harvest is donated to the Marion-Polk Food Share or its affiliated food pantries, and volunteer pickers take home the remainder. This creates a “win-win” situation where pickers are able to take home fresh fruits or vegetables for their own kitchen, while also providing the same luxury for someone else in the community who is in need: all activities that reduce waste.
 
Click here to get a bird’s eye view of how this looks:
 
 
 

With some sweat equity and partnerships with local farms, food that would have otherwise gone to waste is place into the homes of community members.

Year
Harvests
Pounds of food that would otherwise have gone to waste
2012
106
152,541
2011
51
92,209
2010
60
53,012

Sharing with those you love about organizations such as this can bring about greater awareness to existing community efforts. It also presents an opportunity for you to extend a personal invitation to the "party". Through this you can spend quality time together, help the environment, the community and take home a few treats for yourself.

Reference:
Salem Harvest. Retrieved from http://salemharvest.org/index.html on November 24, 2012

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