By Alice Kenny
Tapping in on Earth Day, Catholic Community Services of Rockland (CCSR) announces its new program, “Produce the Produce,” to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to hungry children, individuals and families in Rockland County.
“Whether from our own garden, grocery store or farmers’ market, most of us have access we take for granted to fresh fruits and vegetables but those who are poor have neither,” says CCSR Executive Director Martha Robles.
“We are committed to changing that in Rockland with a bold, new and fresh initiative,” she adds, “and invite you to be a part of it.”
This proactive effort will put more freshly grown fruits and vegetables on the tables of people in need. CCSR plans to serve as a catalyst to engage other community and parish gardens to participate in “Produce the Produce.” It will also provide a central location where local farmers markets and common citizens can donate the fresh fruits and vegetables they grow.
The idea was “cultivated” from CCSR’s expanded community produce garden in Haverstraw. This garden, nicknamed the “Garden of Love,” has already produced more than 6,000 lbs. of fresh produce that has been distributed to participants enrolled in the CCSR Food Pantry. In addition to saving money, the Garden of Love helps feed our neighbors, while teaching members of the community how to grow their own food.
To ensure a plentiful bounty, Produce the Produce was formally announced during the 4th Annual Blessing of the Soil at CCSR, 78 Hudson Ave in Haverstraw, New York on April 20.
During this time of economic uncertainty, demand for the food pantries continues to grow. Fortunately, the CCSR garden’s bounty is growing as well. Seasonal cooking demonstrations that use fresh ingredients from the bounty harvested from the “Garden of Love” are also available.
At Catholic Community Services of Rockland, no one is ever turned away from receiving food. Please call 845 942-5791 during office hours to register.