Our biggest successes this season were doubling the number of garden installations in our community and partnering with more local food pantries. We grew, rescued and shared over one ton of garden fresh vegetables this season alone. Our combined shares over three growing seasons are nearly 4,500 lbs.
What challenges did or does your project face?
Our challenges are related to the complicated issues facing our families that we're working to support. We're offering to work with families to grow their own food and provide all of the necessary resources to do just that from garden space to plants/seeds/resources, etc. But no matter how many resources we work to provide - life gets in the way.
How are you working to overcome them?
We are looking to modify our model and focus more on growing specific select crops and making all yields available to local small food pantries that don't have robust food rescue systems in place. We will still continue to work directly with some select at-risk families moving forward but in only one location versus across our community.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
Scale up your model slowly -- we took on too much this growing season and were stressed throughout the season to cover our growing installations with limited volunteer support. Also, figure out the volunteer component or you'll be struggling all season long.