There’s Still Time to Give!

 

CommunityHarvest201709-216_previewAs the year comes to a close, we reflect on the astounding work that was accomplished on our farms this season. You came together to learn and farm in order to give back to your local hunger relief network. Thank you for time and support.

But there’s still time to give back this season. Your support ensures the strengthening and continuation of our programs. Give the gift that keeps on giving and donate today so we can better serve our communities tomorrow. Please remember Community Harvest Project as your make year-end donations. CHP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all gifts are 100% tax-deductible.

Each year we continue building a healthy and engaged community through volunteer farming and nutrition education. This year, your help enabled CHP to donate 1,130,496 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables through 15 local community partners serving 90,000 individuals and families. Our volunteers are how we get the job done. 8,456 community volunteers of all ages helped us get the work done.

Your support allows up to improve our programming. Here’s what our 2017 volunteers had to say after visiting CHP:

4.8/5 Volunteer Experience

92% want to eat more fruits and vegetables
95% are more likely to volunteer in their communities
96% place increased value on the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables on the overall health of our community

“I have a greater appreciation for where our food comes from. I’m grateful for my time at chp!”

 

“I was excited my kids could help with so much like to pick, and sort and box tomatoes that will feed hungry people this week. We will all be coming back!”

Read the rest of the December Sprout!

Introducing Our 2018 Cooking Classes

 

kids cooking 2Education programs are expanding! In 2018 CHP will be offering nutrition and agriculture education programs for three different age groups including kids from 2-12 years old. All programs are open enrollment, so they are open to children from any town and you can sign up for the programs that work best for you and your child’s schedule. All of our programs include a nutrition lesson, many opportunities for participants to try new vegetables, and hands-on activities. All classes are vegetarian, but may include allergens.

Each class has a different theme, and we have some great topics planned for the year. We’ll be learning about the importance of eating breakfast and cooking easy make-ahead recipes like muffins and granola, making Korean mandu dumplings for the Olympics, baking desserts with secret ingredients, harvesting directly from the learning garden and then cooking the vegetables, and having a special Halloween class featuring the Beta Carotene Monster! See the full class lists for all age groups below. All class registrations are open, and class sizes are small to ensure there is lots of hands-on activity for each child.

kids cookingAll program descriptions and class registration links can always be accessed from our education page: http://www.community-harvest.org/education/. We hope your child can join us for a program in 2018!

Broccoli Head Chefs: 9-12-year old cooking classes

These 2-hour classes are geared towards 9-12 year olds and emphasizes specific nutrition topics, following advanced recipes, and adjusting recipes to your own tastes.

Morning Rocket Fuel, Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Dumplings Around the World, Friday, February 23rd, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Secret Ingredient Desserts, Thursday, March 15th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

You Can Make Pasta!, Monday, April 30th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

The Nutrient Games, Tuesday, May 15th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Salad Dressing Lab, Thursday, June 28th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Rethink Your Drink, Monday, July 16th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Herbal Mania, Monday, July 30th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Becoming a Pickle, Tuesday, August 14th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Garden Scavenger Hunt, Tuesday, August 28th, 2018, 2:30-4:30pm

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes! – Thursday, September 13th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Whole Grain Goodness – Thursday, September 18th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Apples Apples Apples! – Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

The Beta Carotene Monster – Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

Magic Eggs – Tuesday, November 27th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

It’s a Party! – Monday, December 10th, 2018, 3:30-5:30pm

 

Celery Sous Chefs: 5-8 year old cooking classes

These 1-hour classes are geared towards 5-8 year olds and emphasizes basic nutrition, reading recipes, measuring, and tasting new things.

Morning Rocket Fuel – Tuesday, January 16th, 4-5pm

Dumpling Master – Tuesday, February 20th, 2:30-3:30pm

Secret Ingredient Desserts – Thursday, March 8th, 2018, 4-5pm

Quesadilla Quest – Monday, April 23rd, 2018, 4-5pm

I Can Eat a Whole Plant! – Tuesday, May 8th, 2018, 4-5pm

Glorious Green Foods – Thursday, June 21st, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Scrumptious Smoothies – Monday, July 9th, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Pesto Power – Monday, July 23rd, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Rainbow Salsa – Thursday, August 9th, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Garden Scavenger Hunt – Tuesday, August 21st, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes! – Tuesday, September 11th, 2018, 4-5pm

Whole Grain Goodness – Thursday, September 20th, 2018, 4-5pm

Apples Apples Apples! – Tuesday, October 9th, 2018, 4-5pm

The Beta Carotene Monster – Tuesday, October 23rd, 4-5pm

Personalize Your Pizza – Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, 4-5pm

Delightful Dips – Monday, December 3rd, 2018, 4-5pm

 

Pepper Pack: 2-4 year old farm activities

This 1-hour program is for 2-4 year olds and includes a hands-on volunteer farm activity, vegetable tasting, and another activity geared towards the season. We may plant something to take home, visit the tractors on the farm, or read a story. Registration is not required for this program – just show up! Cost is $10 per adult/child pair. All Pepper Pack programs take place on Tuesdays and are from 10-11am.

May 22nd, 2018

June 5th, 2018

June 19th, 2018

July 10th, 2018

July 24th, 2018

August 14th, 2018

August 28th, 2018

Read the rest of the December Sprout!

Volunteer of the Year: You!

VolunteerGroup.CommunityServings.2017We continue to stand in awe of the volunteers that support our work and drive our mission forward at our farms and orchards.  Their selfless work results in the hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables that we are able to donate throughout our community.  Even when the going gets rough and Mother Nature challenges our work this group of hearty volunteers come out in force proving their commitment to the cause.  This year approximately 8,500 people served over 26,000 hours to help the hunger relief network by helping to plant, grow, harvest and package our fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables.  It’s not easy work but this hearty group continues to make Community Harvest Project run like a well oiled machine.  

VolunteerGroup.Dell.2017 (8)These diverse volunteers come from all corners of Worcester County and beyond and range from preschool age to senior citizens.  They work together and are able to help us maintain a welcoming and fun environment.  We hosted almost 2,000 school children who are learning about the power of helping within the community and the impact that it can have on themselves and others.  Our 12 Volunteer Board Members work tirelessly in guiding and supporting the organization as we continue to hone our operation and plan our future.  Our college interns this year came to us from Holy Cross, Clark University, Framingham State, UMass Amherst, Unity College, University of Rochester and Kansas State along with one high school student from Worcester Academy.  These 15 students had deep impacts in programming and volunteer operations and we are very appreciative of their help and were sad to see them go.  We count on the great group leaders that help to organize visits to the farm from their respective organizations and could not do this work without their partnership.  We also could not be successful without the countless teachers, professors, chaperones, program managers, troop leaders and parents who offer support to our volunteers.  Our event volunteers are key to running successful Plantapalooza and Harvest Home events and this year we counted them in the hundreds.  Without all of these key players working on our behalf we would be a shadow of ourselves.  All of this illustrates the power of a community coming together to help others and we are thankful to be the recipients of all this energy.  

Group of TLs.JPGIf you have ever been on one of our farms, however, there is one group within the organization that we rely on to make our operation seamless.  In 2017 we had 58 Volunteer Team Leaders representing us in the fields and orchards.  These volunteers work on the front line and are the key in making sure that each and every volunteer has a good experience.  From the very beginning of planting season until we are all cleaned up and ready for winter our Team Leaders answer the call and do an amazing job representing Community Harvest Project to our volunteers.  Always ready with a welcoming smile and can do attitude our Team Leaders are awesome, if you have been to our farms and orchards you know exactly what we are talking about and have experienced their commitment first hand.  

For December we would like to sincerely thank and celebrate the community of volunteers that comes together to make Community Harvest Project what it is.  Without this amazing community of volunteers there would be no Community Harvest Project.  Coming from near and far and working together for the benefit of our community is powerful work.  We are honored and humbled that you have selected us to spend your valuable time volunteering with.  We are thankful that you have been the advocates to help get the word out about the work that we do at our farms and orchards.  We would to thank you for all that you have done in 2017 to make it another successful year in supporting our community, we really appreciate each and every one of you.   

Read the rest of the December Sprout!

A Letter from the Executive Director

To the CHP community,

CHPHeads-002Having celebrated my first-year anniversary here at Community Harvest Project this summer, I can now say that I’ve completed a full season on our farms – and what a season it’s been! This community has welcomed me with open arms and everyday I am so grateful to be able to work here alongside you.

As a supporter of CHP you know that our mission is to build healthy communities through volunteer farming and nutrition education. To fulfill that mission we welcome thousands of volunteers to our farms to grow pallets worth of fresh fruits and vegetables for our hunger relief agency partners. This year was another excellent season, and I am pleased to announce the following impact numbers:

  • 12 — hunger relief agency partners
  • 128 — agencies served by our largest partner, Worcester County Food Bank
  • 1,573 — students educated through our nutrition education programs
  • 8,456 — volunteers who visited our farms
  • 80,000 — individuals served
  • 271,509 — pounds of produce grown and donated
  • 1,103,496 — servings our produce provided

These numbers show just how much can be accomplished when we work together. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, generous donations, and all the other ways you supported our organization this year.

I would also like to thank our incredible staff and Board for their hard work. I am privileged to work with this dedicated, enthusiastic, and awesome group of individuals, and from your feedback we know you feel the same. Thank you Annie, Austin, B, Carolyn, Claudia, Jen, Jennessa, Paul, Susan, Tori, and Wayne — I am blown away by all that you do! And to our Board Members, thank you for continuing to help steward CHP’s present and future.

We are already excitedly planning the 2018 season. Stay tuned for updates this winter, and we’ll see you on our farms next year!

Best wishes,
Cordelia Lyon
Executive Director

Read the rest of the December Sprout!