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Grow fresh food. Share fresh food.

Linda Downey, of the Storehouse Food Bank in Wellington, promoting the Fresh for All project.

Linda Downey, of the Storehouse Food Bank in Wellington, promoting the Fresh for All project.

The Fresh for All project is ready to grow in Prince Edward and Hastings counties.

Fresh For All is an initiative to help contribute much-needed fresh vegetables and fruits to food banks and meal programs within the two counties. It is organized and supported by various organizations and individuals.

“More than 11 per cent of households in Hastings and Prince Edward counties experience food insecurity,” said Ruth Ingersoll, Executive Director of Community Development Council of Quinte, and a Fresh For All organizer. “This translates into one in nine households, or greater than 17,600 local residents.”

The concept is simple: if you’re planting a vegetable garden this summer, simply add an extra row or two to share. At harvest time, pick your produce and deliver your donation to a participating community food bank or meal program. Any produce can be accepted, at any time in the growing season.

“Fresh For All is a simple way to share delicious garden produce with others in our community,” said Steve van de Hoef, Chair of the Food Security Network of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, and a Fresh For All organizer. “By working together we can build healthy, vibrant communities where everyone has access to fresh food.”

There are four County food programs participating and welcoming gardeners to deliver fresh produce throughout the season – Storehouse Foodbank, Picton United Church County Food Bank, Food Not Bombs, and the Salvation Army. Toward the end of the season, fresh produce can also be delivered to Glen Wallis’ Food to Share project.

Several flats of vegetable seedlings were donated by Lockyer’s Country Gardens to give away at the launch of the campaign on the weekend at the Wellington market.

Over the next few weeks volunteers will be at various County farmers’ markets and other events to distribute free vegetable more seedlings from Lockyer’s, Walker’s Greenhouse and Vicki’s Veggies. Fresh for All lawn signs will be available for a $10 donation.

* * *

Food-not-BombsFood Not Bombs is a community building group that includes free meals and food sharing, crafts, family events and clothes swaps. Events are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month, along with a special community meal and clothes swap the second Sunday of each month – at the Picton Town Hall, above the firehall, on Ross Street, Picton. Wednesday meals are from 5:30-7 p.m. Sunday all-day events begin with brunch from 11 a.m. to noon. For more information, or to get involved with FNB, e-mail: pec.foodnotbombs@gmail.com or like the page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FoodNotBombsPec

Picton Care and Share Food Bank – open Fridays 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Can be used once a month. Need photo ID, proof of income and expenses.
Picton United Church
12 Chapel St., Picton.
Call 476-8516

Storehouse Food Bank – open Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. or by appointment.
Storehouse Wellington and District Foodbank
305 Niles St., Wellington
Wellington Pentecostal church basement
399-1450 or 399-1482

Salvation Army Food Bank – open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon.   Can be used once a month. Need photo ID, rent receipt, income statement and expenses (e.g. food, housing, hydro)
Salvation Army
46 Elizabeth St., Picton
476-3159

Also available is:

The Hub Family and Child Care Centre – Healthy Food Healthy Families Programs for young parents and children to gain knowledge about nutritious food purchasing, preparation and storage. The program is offered monthly and every family takes home a Good Food Box.
The Hub also offers a Good Baby Box program to assist families to stretch their food dollar, reduce costs and meet needs of infants and toddlers.

The Children’s Garden project was also created at The Hub to help build healthy eating habits with the children of Prince Edward County. Starting at a young age is key for building lifelong skills, along with hands on opportunities from planting to harvesting and eating the food.

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