The Power of Volunteers: 2018 in Review

south unumAs we end our year we need to ensure that we reflect back and offer a hearty thank you to the thousands of volunteers that visited our farms in 2018. This group of over 8,726 strong is the key to our success. During our early season they come out and plant thousands of seedlings, they pull weeds, harvest, wash and package veggies and help us put our farms to rest again at the end of the season. All of this work is done in the outdoors in the many types of weather that New England throws our way, sometimes several types of weather in one day. All of this selfless work and time is given so that we are able to grow and donate healthy locally grown produce to those seeking hunger relief services throughout the community that we serve. Through the work of our selfless volunteers and all of the hours that they serve we are able to function like a well oiled machine, for that we are eternally grateful.

In the midst of the large number of volunteers there is a small but mighty force of Volunteer Team Leaders leading the charge and helping to facilitate the work of our farms. In 2018 we had 45 Volunteer Team Leaders serve at our farms and they are the glue that holds this place together. Whether they are serving on an advisory committee, working in the fields with our diverse groups of volunteers, helping to prune or deliver to one of our community partners or volunteering at an event this group always can be counted on to represent CHP in the best of light. Their energy, drive and commitment is top notch and without them there would be no volunteer operation here at our farms. So, please join us in thanking our 2018 Volunteer Team Leaders for all that they do day in and day out to welcome and engage our thousands of volunteers. We could not do this great work without them and are humbled by their presence.  

So, to all of our thousands of volunteers, 44 Volunteer Team Leaders, Volunteer Board Members, Advisory Committee Members and outside Group Coordinators we would like to say a hearty thank you for all that you do. It takes a lot of effort to make this look easy and without you all we would be lost.

Thank you all for your support and we hope to see you all back on our farms in 2019.  

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Double your impact before the year ends

okra barnGive today and double your impact! Donate to the “One Step Further” campaign!

We are reminded daily of people like yourself who give so selflessly to those in need.  One of our food insecure clients from Loaves and Fishes shares her story with us, “…we receive fresh produce twice a month and it helps us to eat healthier and before using the food pantry I could not afford to buy fresh veggies. Thank you so much.” It is stories like these that remind us why we do what we do and take our passion one step further to help those in need.

Did you know that a $25 donation will provide 68 servings of green beans, $50 will provide 136 servings of leafy greens, or $100 will harvest 270 servings of cabbage? Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, 60,000 food insecure community members received fresh, nutritious produce this summer. However, hunger is an ongoing issue that does not end just because the harvest does. That is why our work never stops and we take steps to ensure every neighbor has access to healthy food they need.

vegWould you be willing to take your passion one step further and make a donation to feed families in need? Donate today and your contribution will make double the impact, because our generous donors, Major General Robert and Karen Catalanotti, are supporting our efforts with a matching gift of $10,000. This means that every dollar you donate will be doubled.  Walk the walk with us, donate to the “One Step Further” campaign, and make a real, lasting impact in the lives of the food insecure community.

With your contribution, you too will be a partner in building a healthy and engaged community!  We cannot do it without you! Thank you!

Donate today at:
http://bit.ly/OneStepFurther2018

P.S.  Share this message with your friends and family and let’s triple or quadruple our impact! Check with your employer too and see if they will match your donation.

 

 

2019 Cooking Class Schedule

kids cookingWe’re excited to release our 2019 Cooking Class Schedule! All cooking classes emphasize nutrition and skill development. Vegetable tasting and preparation is an integral part of every class, and in the growing season every class includes harvesting ingredients from the learning garden. We’re repeating some old favorites, but also added some new topics.

All classes are drop-off and include hands-on cooking the students will do, plus recipes that will be sent home. All classes are vegetarian, but may include allergens. All proceeds from cooking classes support Community Harvest Project’s hunger relief efforts. View the entire 2019 class schedule here!

Broccoli Head Chefs

These 2-hour classes are for 9-12 year olds and emphasize specific nutrition topics, following advanced recipes, and adjusting recipes to your own tastes. This year we are offering Broccoli Head Chef’s classes on rotating days of the week and from 4-6pm.

dipCelery Sous Chefs

These 1-hour classes are geared towards 5-8 year olds and emphasize basic nutrition, reading recipes, measuring, and tasting new things. New this year we are offering two Celery Sous Chef classes each month which feature the same topic but take place on different days of the week and at different times to accommodate more schedules.

What’s Cooking: Mini Taco Cups

cooking class

Our last classes of the year focused on easy, healthful recipes chock-full of protein that can be made for a party. These taco cups were a huge hit and could just as easily be made for a weeknight dinner. Yes, you could use ground meat of some kind, but they are definitely worth trying with beans! With all of the topping options, meat isn’t even missed.

If this looks like a recipe your child would like, check out the taco classes we’ll be running in March along with the rest of the 2019 cooking class schedule here.

January Classes:

Broccoli Head Chefs (9-12 year olds)

Super Soup – Wednesday, January 30th, 2019, 4-6pm

Soup is a nutritious, warming, one-pot meal! We’ll learn to build layers of flavor to make delicious, vegetarian soups with simple pantry ingredients and vegetables.

Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds)

***Please note these classes are the same topic but take place at different times and on different days of the week***

Snack Attack – Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019, 4:30-5:30pm

Snack Attack – Monday, January 28th, 2019, 4-5pm (only 3 spots left!)

When you are hungry in between meals it is easy to reach for a bag of chips or a cookie…but wait! If we think ahead we can make healthy snacks that can hold us over until the next meal.

Taco Cups

Makes 24 mini muffin tacos

Filling:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (frozen is fine, but thaw before you start)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Assembly and toppings:

  • Whole wheat tortillas (5 if using 12”)
  • 1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese
  • Optional toppings: salsa, sour cream or Greek yogurt, avocado or guacamole, diced jalapenos, shredded lettuce or cabbage, tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the black beans until they form a chunky paste. Add in the corn, cumin, oregano, paprika, chili powder (if using) and salt. Stir to combine.

Cut the tortillas into 9 pieces by cutting it evenly into thirds in one direction, and then in thirds again (if you are using regular muffin tins just do fourths). Spray or oil the muffin tin and press the tortilla pieces to fit. Put a spoonful of the filling into each tortilla piece, and then top with a sprinkle of cheese.

Bake taco cups for 10 minutes, or until the tortilla edges are crispy and the cheese is melted.

Serve with your choice of toppings and enjoy!