Do you like those brain teasers where you search for a repeated item hidden within an illustration? It seems that during the past holiday season we could spend no small amount of time looking for reindeer, Santa, and gingerbread boys in tiny pictures on our phones. Today, let’s see how many community partners can be found in the story of Share Your Bounty for the 2021 growing season.
Share Your Bounty is a public awareness campaign sponsored by Crook County On The Move, a program of Crook County Foundation. Share Your Bounty encourages backyard gardeners and local farmers to share their excess production with others in the Community. The goals: to get nourishing food to people who will use it and to prevent food waste.
The Share Your Bounty ads will appear in two local publications (the Central Oregonian and Your Round-Up} to detail exactly where and when to drop off excess veggies. This year there are five locations: The food pantries at St. Vincent de Paul and First Baptist Church, Craig’s Compassionate Café, CROP Farmer’s Market and Crook County Parks and Rec Movies in the Park.
The connection between Share Your Bounty, the two food pantries and Craig’s Compassionate Café is fairly straight forward. These three community partner agencies get food directly to families and individuals who are experiencing food insecurity. There can hardly be a more apparent example of neighbors helping neighbors.
The addition of CROP Farmer’s Market as a Share Your Bounty drop-off location this growing season is an excellent example of connecting partners to make good things happen in our community. The Farmer’s Market is a convenient time and place for backyard gardeners who work during the week to donate extra production. It’s also the place where non-gardeners can support our local food economy by purchasing fresh produce from one of the CROP farmers then donating some at the Market Manager’s booth.
Not only will CROP Farmer’s Market be a donation site, but the CROP farmers are participating in the High Desert Food Farm Alliance (HDFFA) “Grow and Give” Program. This program benefits farmers by paying a small reimbursement for unsold produce that is donated to help reduce food insecurity.
What happens to the produce that is collected each Saturday? The Community Outreach Team at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church will transport the produce to refrigerated storage to await distribution the following week.
“Transportation and refrigeration have been the missing pieces in Crook County,” said Rachel Levy, Grow and Give Coordinator with HDFFA. “You have had farmers growing plenty of veggies in Crook County. And there are established Neighbor Impact and other distribution sites here. But we didn’t have a way to connect the producers with the distribution. Now HDFFA can implement the program for Crook County.”
Friday Night Movies in the Park, sponsored by Crook County Parks and Rec may seem an unlikely community partner for Share Your Bounty, but kids of all ages circle around the “Veggie Share” Table to pick up healthy food and printed “Food Hero” recipes and nutrition information from OSU Extension and other health agencies. There’s plenty of conversation too: swapping tales of gardening woes and successes, the sharing of favorite recipes.
More than a dozen community partner agencies or businesses linked together this summer for Share Your Bounty. Each of those partners represent employees and dozens of volunteers who are committed to community building here in Crook County. Backyard gardeners and local farmers are connected to others by sharing the fruit of their labors whether with their families, their neighbors or with strangers. Planting seeds and connecting people is how to grow a local food system. Share Your Bounty is just one small piece of our vibrant and expanding food system.
Crook County On The Move is a program of the Crook County Foundation. For more information on program of CC On the Move, visit www.crookcountyonthemove.org. For more information on the Crook County Foundation, contact Brandi Ebner, Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or email email@example.com.
2021 Share Your Bounty Drop-off Locations and Drop-off Times:
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 11am to 2pm
Wednesdays: 1pm to 3pm
St. Vincent de Paul
1103 NE Elm Street
(Deliveries in alley between St. Vincent and Police Station.)
Monday through Friday: 9am to noon
Craig’s Compassionate Café
780 E. First Street
Last 2 Mondays of each month: 11:30 - Noon
First Baptist Church Food Pantry
460 SE Fairview St.
(Located on Garner St. side of building.)
Saturdays 10am to 2pm
CROP Farmer’s Market
Stryker Park behind City Hall
Look for the Market Manager’s Booth
Fridays Beginning July 16
5:30 to 7:00
Crook County Parks & Rec Movie Nights
Look for the “Veggie Share” Table
In Case You Didn’t Know…..
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996 protects the home gardener from liability when produce is donated to a non-profit organization. https://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/partners/become-a-product-partner/food-partners has more information.