Six years ago the Forked River Hunger Action Team H.A.T. began a “Summer Produce Project” which has grown into a year-round “Fresh Produce Project” that supplies fresh produce to the Lacey Food Bank. Yearly grants from the Cents-Ability program have helped to continue their efforts.
Describing the program, H.A.T. chair Isabel Orriss says, “Through this program we offer bags of produce for each family of the Lacey Food Bank to supplement the canned and packaged food items provided each month. Most months we spend about $300 which allows us to fill 160 bags of produce. Sometimes we buy produce in bulk; in the growing season we get produce from a local farmer who gives us a favorable price and sometimes donates produce.” This year, the H.A.T.s packed 760 pounds of bananas, 428 pounds of oranges, 354 pounds of pears, 350 pounds of carrots, 3015 pounds of potatoes, 810 peppers, 920 tomatoes, 1870 ears of corn, 2.5 bushels of squash, and 26 bushels of apples.
They received this enthusiastic testimony from the Lacey Food Bank’s newsletter.
“The Hunger Action Team from the Forked River Presbyterian Church outdid themselves in July. The group traveled out to farm country and came back laden with a huge load of Jersey Fresh corn and tomatoes.
“Clients eagerly took all they had to offer. It was a rare treat for them to enjoy summer-kissed produce right from the farm.
“Lacey Food Bank loves our dedicated H.A.T.s who set up a monthly fresh produce table all year for the benefit of the clients. Thanks to all of you from us!”
Monmouth Presbytery loves the H.A.T.s, too. Forked River has been a generous and faithful participant in the Cents-Ability initiative since its beginning.