Clark County Food Bank exists to “Alleviate hunger and its root causes in Clark County, Washington.” Farm and garden projects like the 78th Street Heritage Farm and Fields of Plenty program help us do that by:
- Increasing the amount of fresh, nutritious food entering the emergency food system. CCFB and its partners rely heavily on donations from the food industry as well as local groups and individuals. Much of the food that gets donated is canned, processed, packaged, or dried. While packaged foods are an important source of sustenance for many families and make it easy to store and distribute large quantities, they are rarely as healthy or nutrient-dense as fresh, unprocessed produce. Everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy food, which is why CCFB is working to get more fruits and vegetables into food pantries, food boxes, and the homes of Clark County.
- Localizing the source of our emergency food supply. Another implication of relying heavily on food donations is that the supply of food is not always consistent or predictable. By cultivating a supply of locally-grown food designated for CCFB and local pantries, we can better project and manage the type and quantity of food entering the system. Large food donors and large-scale food recovery programs make valuable and essential contributions to the emergency food system; we continue to count on them to provide for hungry people in our area. However, the more food we can gather from local farms and gardens, the stronger our system will be.
- Engaging and educating the community. Educating all members of the community about the realities of hunger is one of the most important aspects of addressing root causes; when people understand what’s happening and why, they’re empowered to act together and create change! Giving people a chance to get their hands dirty (literally!) by volunteering with a garden project is a great way to get neighbors connected, teach new skills, and strengthen the fabric of our community.
We hope you’ll join us as we work together towards a hunger-free Clark County!
Read about our projects above to find out how you can get involved. Visit www.clarkcountyfoodbank.org to read more about hunger in Clark County and the work of CCFB.