All About Ag!

IN THIS ISSUE

* Food For Thought: All About Ag!
* Produce Fast Facts
* Feature: Our Agriculture Timeline
* Staff Corner: Agriculture Experts
* Getting to Know: Gleaners, Gardeners & Funders
* Upcoming Events: Food For Thought Series Continues
Food For Thought
All About Ag!

Spring is here and we are already anticipating Summer! That's because our food bank really loves local vegetables...and we get lots! Over time our agricultural programs have really blossomed (I couldn't resist) and we now have deep relationships with growers of all sizes throughout Bellingham and Whatcom County. This harvest season, we hope to receive close to 300,000 pounds of local produce from backyard gardeners, orchards, and commercial farms. Even before then, the Garden Project will build its 200th raised bed garden, enabling yet another family to grow their own food.

We believe that food bank families should have access to fresh, local produce. The combination of programs like Food Bank Fresh, Victory Gardens, and Small Potatoes Gleaning Project has really changed our food bank for the better. It all started innocently enough when we launched our Victory Garden program and began encouraging home gardeners to donate any excess veggies they had.

...turns out, we really LOVE fresh veggies. And, more importantly, so do the families who visit the food bank. We love it so much that we now work closely with dozens of commercial farms buying and gleaning their bounty, and are thankful to receive tens of thousands of pounds of home garden veggies each year. During the Summer and through the Fall the produce section of our food bank rather resembles the Bellingham Farmers Market.

As a father, I think my favorite part of all this great food is seeing kid's reactions to it. Children happily biting into a recently harvested carrot or plum is a common and heart-warming sight at our food bank. It's so wonderful to work with so many local growers, volunteers, and supporters that make this possible.

-Mike Cohen
Executive Director 

Produce Fast Facts
*All stats for 2016                

Sources of Produce by Program   
Most Purchased Produce by Weight
Most Glea ned Produce by Frequency
1. Corn
2. Carrots
3. Beets
4. Cabbage
5. Winter Squash

Featur e: Our Agriculture Timeline




How the  food bank came  to provi de  produce year round, and how we're part of the local  food economy.

Staff Corner

Agricultural Experts





Max Morange : has worked on farms since high school, even on some as far away as France! He has provided BFB with expertise on farming, volunteer communication, and community food system development during his eight year tenure and looks forward to his ninth this season!





Julia Raider: has run the Garden Project since 2012 with an emphasis on empowerment and education. She is a Master Gardener with five years of experience working on organic farms and many more in home gardening. Prior to her time in agriculture, she worked in social services, and she orchestrates the Garden Project with passion and joy.
Getting to Know
Gleaners, Gardeners & Funders

Getting outdoors and playing in the dirt with people from all over the world...what's not to like?




Carol Bee: has gleaned with Small Potatoes Gleaning Project since 2013 and has nearly 100 hours of volunteer service! Not all gleans are created equal: carrots are her favorite because they're higher off the ground, and twisting corn is a no-no for arthritic wrists!





I love sharing nature with my kids.




Aly cia Lund: is a seco n d year gardener in the Gard en Project. She ha s loved the shift  i n e ating in her fa mil y that growing vegetables has caus ed. H er two daughters will eat a whole salad  worth of greens when  they harvest t hem from the
garden, even though they did n't want any vegetables when they came  from the store!

It's clear to me that the food bank is making a real impact in the community every day.




Nick Guilford : of Sunseed Farm has donated over 7,000 pounds of produce and plant starts through SPGP. He loves how excited people get about English cucumbers and tomatoes when they are in season, and chooses blueberries and carrots as his favorite harvest since they store well for winter.


Growing food to feed your family is empowering.




Ayesha Brookshire : has mentored in the Garden Project for 5 years. She not only offers expertise as a Master Gardener and social worker, but deep personal connection from a childhood without food security herself. She encourages new gardeners not to assume they have nothing to offer without experience. 


Access to fresh food is vital for a healthy community.



The Sustainable Whatcom Fund of the Whatcom Community Foundation funding has played a significant role in all of our agriculture programs, from filling the gap left by the Local Farms, Healthy Kids program when it was cut, to inspiring the Garden Project's founding.







Upcoming Events

May 13Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carrier Food Drive
You can fill a bag or box and place it next to your mailbox for your postal carrier to pick up to participate. BFB expects to receive over 60,000 pounds of nonperishable food this day alone!











May 16Why Are We Growing?
Bellingham Food Bank has grown year after year to meet the increase in demand for our services. Why is hunger an issue on the rise in our community? And how does the Food Bank make sure that it is ready for increased need? 

Join us for a moderated discussion, along with partners from the United Way and Opportunity Council, to learn about what is driving more people to the food bank and what we are doing to grow our operations. We think you'll leave feeling more connected to our work, and to other food bank supporters.

RSVP by May 12 to info@bellinghamfoodbank.org | 360.676.0392

July 13Summer Soirée at Joe's Gardens
We live in a community surrounded by beautiful, bountiful growth year-round. Bellingham Food Bank has numerous agriculture partners to share that growth with our clients, and the team at Joe's Gardens are included in that group. 

Come down to the farmstand after hours for festive libations, a tour of the grounds, and to get inspired by the story of this Southside summertime staple. Remember to wear your comfortable walking shoes!

RSVP by July 10 to info@bellinghamfoodbank.org | 360.676.0392
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