Our MISSION & VISION
Our Vision is simple--We want to change the way we feed the hungry.
- Provide fresh fruits and vegetables to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food banks in Dauphin and Lebanon Counties, and
- Encourage at-risk children and their families to make healthier food choices, increasing their access to fresh, local food and teaching them to live more sustainably.
Poverty should never be an obstacle to eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
How we address immediate needs
- We buy fresh fruit and vegetables, local when possible or donated from local gardeners--and distribute that produce free to soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries using our Mobile Farmer's Market.
- Using the Mobile Farmer's Market, we operate an All-Kids Mobile Farmer's Market where school-age children can pick and choose their own produce to take home and we add an educational component about nutrition. The key is that the CHILDREN choose, not an adult. The result is that they are more likely to eat what they choose and involve their families.
- We operate a Reverse Food Truck which appears at local public events and collects food (produce) vs. selling food.
How we work on long-term solutions to the conditions that perpetuate poverty
- Good nutrition is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for attaining and maintaining good health. Good health is a necessary condition for being able to work gainfully, particularly in the manual occupations in which people living in multi-generational poverty are most likely--but not necessarily--are able to find employment.
- We commit ourselves to developing and conducting educational programs for families and children to actively engage them in generating enthusiasm about eating local, fresh food and living sustainably.
Growth of Our Distribution Network
- Established a client list of nearly 40 sites including shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens that receive our fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Developed relationships with several local farmers and wholesalers to source our produce.
- Won a $20,000 Gaming Grant in 2016 from Dauphin County to start a Mobile Farm Market to transport our produce to our client sites
- We've also established an All-Kids Farmer's Market which is available to visit school back pack programs, summer camps and food pantries to allow children to choose their own take-home produce. This program will give kids a sense of responsibility and generate enthusiasm about eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Conducted Christmas parties at four area shelters serving nearly 1,000 homeless boys and girls for the past 22 years.
- Established the Donate-a-Tomato program allowing for home gardeners to easily donate their harvest.
- Started an awards program called the Spirit of Gemma Awards recognizing groups, businesses and individuals who provide services caring for the poor, the working poor and the homeless.
- Established the Farmer Andy & Andrea Project and Andy's & Andrea's Farm in concert with the Foundation for Better Health, which teaches school-age children about sustainability, the importance of farming and the importance of eating five fresh fruits and vegetables a day. PS, not to worry, look for Farmer Andrea soon!
- Future Program Wish List
- Assisting inner city-based residents to build their own gardens, both individually and as groups.
- An interactive, traveling children's show featuring veggie and fruit characters promoting nutrition education designed for pre-school and elementary age children and summer camps.