In Massachusetts, there are over 616,000 people who are struggling with hunger issues; over 159,000 of them are children. With all of us having families and/or young children to feed, we chose to donate our time to The Dartmouth YMCA. We chose this activity because they make such a huge impact on people’s lives every day. They provide quality programs and services to meet the needs of surrounding communities, but the facility also owns and operates a 4.2 acre ‘Sharing the Harvest Community Farm’. This farm has donated more than 450,000 pounds of produce to several local food pantries and thousands of individual people since 2006.
The staff we met welcomed us with open arms. They are very passionate about their work and made it easy to follow suit. We spent the day collecting eggs from chickens, harvesting kale and lettuce crops. And when we say “harvest”, this included picking, washing and prepping the greens to be shipped out to other locations. This was no small task. Winter preparation was also needed for the crops, so we rewired electric fences to help keep animals out and winterized the soil.
Our team left with mixed feelings. We were excited that we got to help make a difference in some one’s life, but also a little humbled by the thought of how many children or adults go to bed hungry every day. Hopefully our few hours of time helped as many people as possible. This is an ongoing battle that all of us will help keep fighting.