CFF, a non-profit farm that grows organic harvests specifically to donate to neighbors in need, made the commitment to Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC), the community action agency of Bucks County, which fights food insecurity among the county’s low-income residents and feeds over 10,000 families each year. CFF has been donating food to BCOC since 2016 – everything from kale to carrots -which BCOC in turn distributes to hungry households alongside other food donations, through the Fresh Connect program which is free mobile markets and its network of sixty food pantries across the County.
In recent years, CFF – which donates over 90% of its annual harvests to area soup kitchens and food pantries – has donated 30,000 pounds of food directly to BCOC. But the Covid pandemic has raised the unemployment numbers from 4.3% to 9.7% just in Bucks County, leading to increased demand for emergency services and outstripping donations and government support. When CFF learned of BCOC’s unmet needs to serve the local community, they made a commitment to nearly doubling this year’s donated harvests.
Fresh foods are especially essential for families in poverty, who rely on emergency food such as canned beans and boxed macaroni. When households have only dollars a day for groceries, fresh fruits and vegetables are often literally off the table, leading to high rates of diet-related disease. BCOC notes that over a third of local residents facing hunger are children, and that parents in poverty are often unable to provide any fresh options. So, their clients prize produce from CFF – which includes fresh spinach and salad greens in spring, tomatoes and zucchini in summer, and carrots and sweet potatoes in the fall, as well as pastured eggs, all top-quality and certified organic.
“We could not be more grateful for this partnership with Carversville Farm Foundation. In a time when resources are stretched and unpredictable, they stepped in and stepped up to provide fresh produce for families in need. Together we are feeding our community,” says Erin Lukoss, BCOC’s Executive Director.
“Our production expansion efforts have been very successful so far this year,” says Tony D’Orazio, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Carversville Farm Foundation. “We’re proud to meet our goal of expanding our harvest of fresh, organic food for families struggling with poverty, and deeply grateful to BCOC’s ongoing partnership to distribute our harvests to neighbors in need.”
One of the Fresh Connect clients commented on the impact of receiving this fresh food, “Having fresh produce is a total game changer. I’m eating and feeling healthier!”
PHOTO CAP: From left, Chris Owen, former BCOC Food Driver, Sam Berenstain, Assistant Vegetable Manager, and Steven Tomlinson, Farm Manager.