Update: We are looking at doing this Tuesday, August 10. We’ll have more soon.
Together, Friends of theLoop, Farm Share and the Sheldrake Environmental Center hope to supplement these efforts to feed 500 families in our area. Dates and times for Nourish Your Neighbor will be announced soon.
Our story: One tomato, a cucumber, some lettuce and maybe a pepper and some celery makes a healthy salad for a family of four. "Vegetables are expensive," says Ed Merians, and "for the families that need our food pantry, fresh produce may be out of reach."
More than 500 families in the area live below the poverty line.
So Merians had an idea. He is asking each of us to grow a tomato plant, a cucumber, peppers, string beans, whatever we can. We will then meet up in late August to pool our produce and feed many hungry people. The time and place will be announced here.
We are calling it "Nourish Your Neighbor."
"No meetings. We don’t need a new not- for-profit. No web site. Let’s just cooperate," Merians says.
Merians, who is Chairman of the Westchester Chapter of the American Red Cross, is not doing this in any official capacity, but, he says, as a neighbor.
"As chair of the Red Cross in Westchester, I am seeing too much hunger in our community. It’s a growing problem. There are children in Larchmont (and from New Rochelle to Port Chester) who go to school hungry not because they have an eating disorder but because there is nothing on the table. I just can’t sleep well at night knowing that there may be one more thing I can do.
Or that we can do.
Loop sponsor Farm Share has just agreed to offer a $25 rebate to anyone who wants to sign-up for their summer-long weekly box of fresh produce and donate a week to Nourish Your Neighbor. Farm Share’s Gail Brussel says it has donated food for the hungry since it started five years ago.
"As long as we’ve been delivering shares to members, Farm Share has always donated the extra boxes of veggies, fruit and eggs to food pantries in need of fresh food. We’re grateful to have the chance to contribute close to home this year with ‘Nourish your Neighbor’."
theLoop pledges to ask every family in the area to plant something for this special harvest. Will you help?
"For once, I’m not asking my neighbors for blood or money, I am asking them to grow something in their garden," Merians laughed.
Please leave a comment below stating what you will grow and donate to Nourish Your Neighbor in order to gauge the interest.
And please spread the word. Watch this space for more details.