Rolling Harvest Food Rescue

The Mission of Rolling Harvest Food Rescue is simple: to connect donated fresh, locally grown and nutritious produce from farmers in the region with neighbors in need. They work efficiently and effectively to get the food to where it’s needed the most. They glean in the fields and help with the harvest.

And they educate with a variety of printed nutrition information and recipe handouts at their free farmers markets located in many of their hunger-relief sites to encourage the recipients, many of them families and senior citizens, to incorporate this healthy food into their daily diets. 

Rolling Harvest Food Rescue began in 2009 with a handful of volunteers and a couple of farms. Since then, they have delivered more than 189,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and now also get regular donations of organic, chemical-free healthy meats to local food pantry sites throughout Bucks County in Pennsylvania and into Hunterdon and Mercer Counties in New Jersey.

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Bucks County Foodshed Alliance kicks off new year tastefully

by Patricia Cangelosi

On January 8th, local non-profit Bucks County Foodshed Alliance (BCFA) held its 2014 annual meeting. Taking place at Doylestown Borough’s Standard Club on East State Street, the event kicked off with a potluck dinner. Members and guests brought locally grown foods to reflect the grassroots organization’s mission of developing a local, sustainable food system through collaboration and education.

President Jane Magne began the evening with a recap of the group’s progress in 2013, which included launching the Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local, a volunteer-driven network that forges connections between food producers, sellers and consumers. Goals of the organization center on supporting local agriculture and increasing the availability of fresh, locally grown cuisine.

Officer elections were held as well. Susan Snipes-Wells of Bucks County’s Snipes Farm, Doylestown attorney Gavin Laboski, Philadelphia-based attorney Jeffrey Scott, and Cathy Snyder, founder of local nonprofit Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, all won (or were re-elected to) seats on BCFA’s board of directors.

Then, the highlight of the night: Renowned Bucks County chef Max Hansen of Max & Me Catering and Max Hansen Carversville Grocery led an interactive cooking demonstration. BCFA members and their guests were thoroughly engaged as Max – along with his colleague, Executive Chef Greg Glowatz – prepared fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce.

The menu included potato gnocchi tossed with oyster mushrooms and sautéed kale; roasted acorn squash stuffed with quinoa; and an array of vegetables that are available in colder times of the year, such as carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, potatoes and more.

“My grandfather was one of the first ‘locavores’ from this area,” Max recalled, using the popular term that describes individuals who put a strong emphasis on consuming high-quality, locally grown foods. “People really do care about where their food is coming from.”

The audience, which consisted of about 35 BCFA members and friends, was enthralled and delighted to taste the chefs’ creations. “We want to see farming being maintained here in Bucks County,” Jane Magne explained. “We’re trying to build communication between restaurateurs and farmers and to connect farmers to land that’s available.”

According to Jane, launching the Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local was BCFA’s proudest accomplishment of 2013. “It took two years of work by a very devoted group of people,” she said.

BCFA sponsors the Wrightstown Farmers’ Market, a local producer-only market featuring over a dozen vendors selling fresh foods and handmade crafts (winter mini-markets are currently open on the second and fourth Saturday of each month through April, from 10:00-11:00am at 2203 Second Street Pike in Wrightstown).

Throughout the year, the group also holds many events throughout Bucks County that are open to the public, like movies, speakers, interactive workshops, and farm tours. Looking forward, Jane said, “We want to expand our membership base. We’re looking for corporate sponsors. The greater the membership – the more volunteers and sponsors we have – the more activities and education we can provide.”

For information on membership and a schedule of events, visit www.BucksCountyFoodshedAlliance.org.

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Rolling Harvest Food Rescue

The Mission of Rolling Harvest Food Rescue is simple: to connect donated fresh, locally grown and nutritious produce from farmers in the region with neighbors in need. They work efficiently and effectively to get the food to where it’s needed the most. They glean in the fields and help with the harvest.

And they educate with a variety of printed nutrition information and recipe handouts at their free farmers markets located in many of their hunger-relief sites to encourage the recipients, many of them families and senior citizens, to incorporate this healthy food into their daily diets. 

Rolling Harvest Food Rescue began in 2009 with a handful of volunteers and a couple of farms. Since then, they have delivered more than 189,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and now also get regular donations of organic, chemical-free healthy meats to local food pantry sites throughout Bucks County in Pennsylvania and into Hunterdon and Mercer Counties in New Jersey.

Rolling Harvest has now grown to include 21 partner farms and markets and more than 30 distribution sites, including food pantries, soup kitchens, domestic violence and homeless shelters and low-income senior housing. To ensure freshness, the donated food is usually delivered directly from farm to families within just a few hours.

There are many local farmers and food producers who want to share their excess farm fresh vegetables and fruits with neighbors in need, but lack the time and staff it would take to ensure effective distribution. Rolling Harvest collects from these farms and markets at their convenience and according to their own schedules. 

Along with founder and director Cathy Snyder, more than 30 volunteers contribute their time and talents during the harvest months from May through December. There is never a charge to the sites for deliveries or a pick-up fee to the generous farmers and grocers who give.

The face of hunger in our area is changing. Twenty-seven percent of the people we help are children. Twelve percent are seniors. Many are hard working and underemployed, recently laid off, disabled or struggling with home foreclosures or even homelessness. Recent cuts in food stamp and unemployment benefits are making it even more challenging.

Rolling Harvest Food Rescue is committed to helping their partner sites provide better and healthier food choices for them and their families. And they are committed to growing their services to meet the ever-increasing need.

For more information visit www.RollingHarvest.org.

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Bucks County Foodshed Alliance kicks off new year tastefully

by Patricia Cangelosi

On January 8th, local non-profit Bucks County Foodshed Alliance (BCFA) held its 2014 annual meeting. Taking place at Doylestown Borough’s Standard Club on East State Street, the event kicked off with a potluck dinner. Members and guests brought locally grown foods to reflect the grassroots organization’s mission of developing a local, sustainable food system through collaboration and education.

President Jane Magne began the evening with a recap of the group’s progress in 2013, which included launching the Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local, a volunteer-driven network that forges connections between food producers, sellers and consumers. Goals of the organization center on supporting local agriculture and increasing the availability of fresh, locally grown cuisine.

Officer elections were held as well. Susan Snipes-Wells of Bucks County’s Snipes Farm, Doylestown attorney Gavin Laboski, Philadelphia-based attorney Jeffrey Scott, and Cathy Snyder, founder of local nonprofit Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, all won (or were re-elected to) seats on BCFA’s board of directors.

Then, the highlight of the night: Renowned Bucks County chef Max Hansen of Max & Me Catering and Max Hansen Carversville Grocery led an interactive cooking demonstration. BCFA members and their guests were thoroughly engaged as Max – along with his colleague, Executive Chef Greg Glowatz – prepared fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce.

The menu included potato gnocchi tossed with oyster mushrooms and sautéed kale; roasted acorn squash stuffed with quinoa; and an array of vegetables that are available in colder times of the year, such as carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, potatoes and more.

“My grandfather was one of the first ‘locavores’ from this area,” Max recalled, using the popular term that describes individuals who put a strong emphasis on consuming high-quality, locally grown foods. “People really do care about where their food is coming from.”

The audience, which consisted of about 35 BCFA members and friends, was enthralled and delighted to taste the chefs’ creations. “We want to see farming being maintained here in Bucks County,” Jane Magne explained. “We’re trying to build communication between restaurateurs and farmers and to connect farmers to land that’s available.”

According to Jane, launching the Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local was BCFA’s proudest accomplishment of 2013. “It took two years of work by a very devoted group of people,” she said.

BCFA sponsors the Wrightstown Farmers’ Market, a local producer-only market featuring over a dozen vendors selling fresh foods and handmade crafts (winter mini-markets are currently open on the second and fourth Saturday of each month through April, from 10:00-11:00am at 2203 Second Street Pike in Wrightstown).

Throughout the year, the group also holds many events throughout Bucks County that are open to the public, like movies, speakers, interactive workshops, and farm tours. Looking forward, Jane said, “We want to expand our membership base. We’re looking for corporate sponsors. The greater the membership – the more volunteers and sponsors we have – the more activities and education we can provide.”

For information on membership and a schedule of events, visit www.BucksCountyFoodshedAlliance.org.

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Weis Markets: Offering an exceptional shopping experience for over a century

 

by June Portnoy

Weis Markets, which recently opened a store in Doylestown, started out as a small neighborhood store in Sunbury, PA in 1912. Although it now operates 165 stores in five states, its headquarters have remained in Pennsylvania, and Weis Markets has maintained its hometown values and local ties to the community.

“Unlike some of our other competitors who are based in other parts of the country or world, our management lives and works in the communities we serve,” says Dennis Curtin, Director of Public Relations at Weis Markets. “In a very real sense, we’re the hometown store with strong roots in the communities where we operate.”

By being a part of its communities, Weis Markets’ team can closely watch for new trends in the marketplace, so they can move quickly to meet changing customer needs.

“We’re always looking for customer feedback from our customers to ensure we stock the products they want,” says Dennis. “We strongly believe one size does not fit all, which is why we stock local favorites.”

When it first opened, Weis Markets bought its produce and dairy products from farmers who were often their customers. Today, 100 years later, Weis Markets is one of the single largest purchasers of Pennsylvania agricultural products.

“We were local before local was cool,” says Dennis. “In a given year, we buy 25 million pounds of local produce and our Weis Quality milk comes from Pennsylvania dairy farms.”

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