Village Harvest, June, 2019 – 6 month review

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Title:Village Harvest, June, 2019 – 6 month review

Village Harvest numbers served in June were 130 which were between April, 125 and May 146. It is over the yearly average of people served at 118.

Foods provided were much lower in June at 876 pounds compared to 1,479 (April) and 1,192 (May). The yearly average is higher at 1,263. The value per shopper consequently was lower $40.43.

Let’s look at 6 month figures graphically over 6 months in the last 4 years which provide a more even picture. We want to compare people served, total pounds served which are measures overall of the harvest and then looking at individuals. How many pounds are being provided per person and what is the value ? There are four charts:

Our numbers in this year fit the 2018 pattern and are the second highest over 4 years.

Pounds provided are also the second highest with 2018 and 2019 considerably above the previous two years, 2016-2017

The third chart shows pounds per person. What do our clients take home ? Pounds per person are consistently over 10 pounds in the last 2 years.

Focusing on value in the foods distributed, shoppers are leaving with foods valued at $73 in 2019 the second highest in the last years.

What do we make of this ? 2019 shows positive trends. We are below 2018 but above 2017 and 2016. Thus, the second best overall in four years.

However, the second quarter of 2019 was not in keeping with the first quarter particularly in pounds distributed. We provided less food 3,547 pounds (2019 second quarter) vs. 4,890 (2018 first quarter) but served more clients 401 vs. 322.

We are thankful for our support through the Healthy Harvest Food Bank of Warsaw. Although we are out of their prime support area (Northern Neck and Upper Middle Peninsula) they continue to serve us, allowing us to purchase fresh produce and other foods. They serve 12,700 individuals a months. Last year they distributed a half of million of fresh produced. They remind us that one of eight people suffer from food insecurity making their support even more critical.

Thanks to Cookie and Johnny and Eunice and Roger who faithfully go to the food bank, purchase the foods and bring them back to St. Peter’s. Then, thanks to all who support the process on the third Wednesdays.

Two years ago the Food Bank of New Jersey published an article on 5 food banks making an impact. Healthy Harvest (then known as Northern Neck Food Bank) was one of the five.

They wrote “Partnering with 27 local farms, the Northern Neck Food Bank runs gleaning programs from Memorial Day to late fall, relying heavily on volunteers, including community members, school groups and regional businesses. Building relationships with farmers has led to donations beyond the gleaning program, such as the Monday Produce Run, which collects what farmers markets did not sell the previous Sunday.”

“Of the food Northern Neck distributes, 40% is produce – much of which would have ended up in a landfill without its gleaning program. In addition to providing access to fresh, local food, gleaning supports community members in learning about healthy food and farming.”