Each week, volunteers from throughout the community bring their time, talents and passion for people into the NMEP Food Hub to help prepare, cook and package meals for the Community Harvest and Feeding Our Neighbors Food Programs. Katie, Cole’s mother, had been volunteering for a few weeks and decided to bring her son Cole along. On his first day, he worked in the Dish Pit scrubbing pots and pans to make sure that everything was cleaned and ready to be used the next day. After a hard days work, he was rewarded with delicious treats to take home. Excited to help even more, the next day he joined the packaging team in the Kids Kitchen. He ensured that nearly 1,000 meals were labeled and ready to be sorted and bagged for delivery.
Volunteering at NMEP offers individuals and families a way to be connected during this time of social distancing. Youth to seniors engage in meaningful conversations, sharing stories about summer, reminiscing about their favorite recipes and most of all, developing new friendships.
Communities thrive when individuals, families, businesses and other organizations work together to care for each other and lift each other up. Cole and his mother continue to volunteer week after week and because of volunteers like them, over 2,000 youth, adults and seniors have been served over 10,000 meals and nearly 10,000 lbs of local produce in CSA’s since March 30, 2020.
One such recipient is a senior who lives alone that contacted us with a need for foods that would support her diabetic diet. After speaking with her, we knew she would benefit from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce boxes through our Community Harvest program. She was thrilled to learn that she now had access to fresh local vegetables. After her first home delivery of the CSA, she told us, “I want to tell you that the fresh vegetables were way beyond my expectations. … I do believe it has affected my health–my blood sugars are significantly down. I know instead of reaching for a carb, I would get some crispy kale or a tomato.”
Through the support of amazing volunteers, the Community Harvest program is able to reach homebound seniors, help improve community health outcomes, and bolster our local agricultural economy!
Emergency Food Relief Still Available
Applications Now Open
Enter now for a spot in the virtual NMEP Entrepreneurship Invitational Sponsored by Wells Fargo for a chance to win up to $2,500 in seed money!
✔️Complete the No More Empty Pots Kitchen Application
✔️Record a 60 second business pitch video
✔️Create your business plan using the Wells Fargo Works Business Plan Tool
✔️Email your business plan + pitch video by August 9th at 5pm to firstname.lastname@example.org
Want more information before getting started? Join us for a virtual informational session on Wednesday, July 15 from 12pm-1pm.
Upcoming Virtual Activities
STEAM 4-Day Workshop: Food Systems & Tech
7/7 & 7/14 | 1:30pm – 2:30pm
7/14 | 12pm – 1pm: Kombucha
7/21 | 1pm – 2pm: Sauerkraut
7/28 | 1:30pm – 2:30pm: Pickling
8/11 | 1:30pm – 2:30pm: Hot Sauce
7/7 | 10am – 11am: Book Reading – “The Earth Book” with special guest Leslie Schmeling + Nature Walk
7/14 | 10am – 11am: Book Reading – “Rachel’s Day in the Garden” with special guest Lauren Marolis + Garden Yoga