During this challenging time Hope’s Harvest RI remains fully committed to bringing fresh, healthy, locally grown food to our neighbors in need. While the world around us has changed dramatically, our mission remains the same and is more vital now than ever.
Like many of you, we have spent the past few weeks adjusting to new circumstances, communicating with partners, learning, and strategizing around how we can be most useful and adaptive. Some actions we have taken include:
- Reaching out to the RI Community Food Bank and our food pantry partners to offer support with home delivery efforts and/or coordinating volunteers to help pack ready to go boxes for emergency food distribution.
- Connecting with our partner farms to offer to purchase product for food pantries that may be going unsold due to lost contracts with shuttered institutions and restaurants.
- Starting a review and update of our food safety operations plan to determine how we can continue to do our important work while ensuring the safety and well being of our volunteers and the people we serve.
- Stepping up efforts to contract with farms to grow for us in the 2020 season so we have a dedicated supply of fresh, healthy food from local farms going to our community in need, especially as we anticipate a steep increase in the number of food insecure individuals and families.
- Communicating, listening, and learning from our sister gleaning projects across the country, as well as other related non-profits, to share how our communities of practice are adapting to a changing landscape and working collectively to develop best practices.
If you would like to donate to hunger relief agencies in Rhode Island, here is a list of the places our work supports: Federal Hill House, Johnny Cake Center of Westerly, Johnny Cake Center of Peacedale, Amos House, MLK Community Center, AMOR, Good Neighbors, East Bay Food Pantry, Community Action Partnership of Providence, The Elisha Project, and the Rhode Island Center for Assisting those in Need. The Rhode Island Community Food Bank has a “find food” map to locate your nearest food pantry and reach out to see how you can support them directly, or how they can support you.
Our work is more important than ever – and our mission is as critical as it gets. If you’d like to donate to Hope’s Harvest RI, 100 percent of funds given will go directly towards ensuring that we have a steady, consistent supply of fresh food for food pantries in the coming year. This means contracting with farmers to grow for pantries so we can support our local farmers AND our local hunger relief agencies, as well as increasing our operating capacity with safety protocols and equipment to ensure the health and safety of everyone who participates in or benefits from what we do. You can also register as a volunteer here and we will let you know as soon as we have opportunities available.