Arlington, Texas 2020-12-01 13:00:26 –
(Updated at 1:30 pm) The Arlington County PTA Council, with the help of a local farmer’s market operator, is collecting money to buy fresh produce for families in need until Friday.
Through an initiative that is part of Congress’s pandemic relief efforts, CCPTA has partnered with FRESH FARM Markets to provide fresh food to approximately 900 families receiving food through seven PTAs and school-based distribution sites. Fundraising will continue until December 4th, with the addition of Giving Tuesday today (December 1st).
Food will be distributed at regular distribution times during the week of Monday, December 14th. So far, the council is more than half way towards its goals. At the time of issuance, $ 11,851 out of $ 20,000 has been collected.
“We must ensure that our children and their families are not hungry,” CCPTA President Emily Vincent said in a statement. “Coping with food insecurity is essential for both well-being and education, as it is difficult for children to learn when they are hungry.”
According to Vincent, families have had access to food, schools, cleaning supplies, baby products and masks on distribution sites since spring. During the summer, these sites served about 2,500 families.
This work complements the food distribution sponsored by Arlington Public School.
“Our volunteer work is committed to serving the school community and we look forward to a more sustainable and robust support system coordinated by Arlington County in the New Year,” said Vincent. ..
This drive will also help local farmers struggling to profit from this year’s produce for a pandemic.
In addition to operating a farmer’s market in the Washington, DC region, FRESH FARM distributes local produce to small institutions such as day care. Day care often lacks the money and bulk needed to buy from a large distributor.
PopUp Food Hub, the non-profit organization responsible for this program, purchases food for CCPTA fundraising activities. The $ 22 donation to this food drive covers a week’s worth of produce for a family of four.
“Families are grateful for the different types of food aid available in their neighborhood, but many are seeking help in obtaining perishable pantry foods and non-perishable fresh foods,” said the donation page. I will.
Sebastian Muenchrath, Operations Manager at Pop Up Food Hub, focuses on packaged products because many food drives are long-lasting and inexpensive to buy. But it also pushes fresh fruits and vegetables aside for hungry people who need a balanced diet.
Bags rely on long-lasting winter staples such as pumpkins, onions, apples and potatoes, and these days there are fewer leafy vegetables.
CCPTA is “good at understanding what the local supply is like right now,” he said.
Muenchrath said the PTA mobilized a “small army” of volunteers to distribute food and received tips and tricks from the Pop Up Food Hub.
He said FoodDrive expanded FRESH FARM’s business into the winter months, giving farmers the opportunity to make money. It’s important in 2020. While the pandemic disrupted food distribution channels, farmers are still growing produce.
According to Muenchrath, some family-owned farms rely primarily or exclusively on farmers’ markets for sales. When the market closed, owners panicked trying to find a way to make up for their lost income.
“Food is still there. It’s abundant and available,” he said.
Food waste is increasing nationwide in large and small businesses. At the same time, Feeding America estimates that 50 million people may be suffering from hunger, partly due to the effects of the pandemic.
Regionally, FRESHFARM has begun to address these two issues by establishing a partnership between Pop Up Food Hub and an organization that feeds those in need.
According to Muenchrath, even after the market reopened, farmers lost cash due to fewer visitors and many of the traditional Pop Up Food Hub buyers remained closed. As the pandemic is still underway, FRESH FARM and its farmers are planning how to operate next season.
“We get the impression that we are still working under pandemic restrictions,” Munklas said. “We hope to continue to receive support from the community to continue to support the work we are doing.”
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