Try to picture 3.3 million grains of rice. If that’s too challenging, you could also visualize 200,000 grapes, 35,000 eggs, 4,000 pomegranates, 440 watermelons, or 220 pumpkins. Each of these quantities of food weighs a solid ton, which is the amount of fresh produce collected during UJA-Federation’s first annual Care to Share fresh food drive in conjunction with Met Council, Hazon, and AmeriCorps.
The program, which ran from October 3rd to October 18th, far surpassed its initial goal of collecting 1,000 pounds of food for those in need [the final donation count was an incredible 2,156 pounds of fresh produce!]. Synagogues and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups from all over the city, as well as Westchester and Long Island, contributed to the program’s success and many participants have expressed an interest in taking part again next year. Local soup kitchens and food pantries worked together with each of the collection sites to distribute the fresh produce on the same day it was donated.
“When I visited the Care to Share sites, it was very exciting to see the enthusiasm of the volunteers on the ground. They were passionate about the farm-to-table concept and equally passionate about sharing their produce to help others,” says Susan Kohn, executive director of UJA-Federation’s Volunteer and Leadership Development Division.