Become a Harvest Helper!August 3, 2015
The Harvest Helpers program is looking for backyard gardeners to donate fresh produce from their gardens to help feed the hungry in their own back yard. Anyone can become a Harvest Helper!
Each summer we team up with Interfaith Social Services and the Weymouth Food Pantry for our Harvest Helpers program. We plant gardens, raise vegetables, donate the produce to local food pantries, and encourage backyard gardeners in the community to join us.
The gardens at our Quincy and South Weymouth locations are growing quickly. The tomatoes are starting to redden, and so far we have been delivering peppers to both Interfaith’s food pantry and the Weymouth Food Pantry. We expect to harvest bushels of assorted vegetables as the growing season progresses to be donated to the clients at our local food pantries.
“Harvest Helpers is a great way to give back to the community in a unique, meaningful and natural way. When we visit the food pantries with donations, we see how much of a difference the program makes,” said Joseph Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning at Keohane. “I never thought such a simple idea could have such an impact.”
Donations are growing
Whether harvested from their own gardens, grown by their own clients or donated by community gardeners, fresh produce is beginning to be distributed to the families at Interfaith Social Services in Quincy and the Weymouth Food Pantry in Weymouth.
Executive Director of Interfaith Social Services Rick Doane said the garden at Interfaith is doing well and that they have already harvested green beans and given them out to clients. They have an abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers still growing. Doane estimates that the tomatoes will be ready to go out to clients within the next week or so.
The Weymouth Food Pantry has been changing locations this summer and does not have a garden of its own. Director Cas Casados said that most of the vegetable seedlings donated by Keohane were taken home by their clients who chose to grow their own food in pots and yards. “Tomatoes were a favorite for our families,” said Casados.
You Can Help
Even if you didn’t join in on the Harvest Helpers program from the beginning but have surplus produce from your backyard that you’d like to donate, there are families in your community who need it. “We love giving out fresh vegetables to our clients and they love getting them,” said Doane.
Donations of fresh produce for the Weymouth Food Pantry are accepted at the Monsignor Hackett Center gymnasium, which is located on the Immaculate Conception Parish campus at 1189 Commercial Street in East Weymouth, between 8:30am and 11:30am Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Donations from your garden for Interfaith Social Services can be dropped off at their food pantry at 105 Adams Street in Quincy.
Interfaith is still looking for volunteers to help them harvest their bounty. “It is the worst thing when vegetables go bad on the vine!” said Doane.
Food Pantry Fundraiser
Thank you to everyone who “liked” our Facebook page during the month of July. Keohane was thrilled to be able to donate $150 to Interfaith Social Services from our summer Facebook fundraising campaign to benefit our local food pantries. The campaign continues until the end of the month: for every new “like” on our Facebook page during the month of August, Keohane Funeral Home will donate $1 to the Weymouth food pantry.
So please visit our Facebook page this month and “like” us to help support our local food pantries!