Farm to Food Bank program highlighted

July 13th, 2010

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Channel 7 in DC did a story about our Farm to Food Bank partnership with Manna Food Center, Kaiser Permanente and Whole Foods.

here is the blurb from Channel 7’s web site:
GAITHERSBURG, Md. – A new program in Montgomery County is bringing some of the highest quality foods to those who can least afford it. The Farm to Food Bank initiative, organized by the Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg, is bringing fruits and vegetables to the masses.

“It helps people that don’t have enough money to go and buy groceries,” said Janet Rugh-Williams, who says she cannot afford fresh produce.To make matters worse, her 9-year-old daughter suffers from a severe health condition. “She does have a health problem,” Rugh-Williams. “So when I couldn’t help her, you guys help.”

The food will come from twelve local farms and orchards, including Red Wiggler in Clarksburg.

The program, which runs through the fall, including everything from garlic and eggplant to peppers and potatoes. Every single vegetable is certified organic.

“The basis of a healthy society is its food system. And I believe we have one example, in a small way, that demonstrates that,” said Woody Woodroof, the founder and executive director of Red Wiggler, which employs individuals with disabilities.

After its harvested, the produce goes to Manna Food Center in Gaitherburg. The hope, says the center’s executive director, Kim Damion, is that healthier food will lead to healthier lifestyles.

“We can also make them healthier, and ultimately get them on the road to self-sufficiency,” Damion said.

The program will harvest 3,500 of fruits and vegetables each week, enough to feed eight hundred families through January.