Sunday, May 8, 2011

Grow it, Glean it, Give it!

Vacaville citizens donated citrus in quantity this spring, giving Vaca Produce Pipeline volunteers their busiest picking season ever. VPP, now in its third year, is proud of the progress made towards our goal of helping Vacaville citizens donate fresh produce directly to local organizations that feed the hungry in our community.
Vacans have responded to our mission.  Front page coverage in the Vacaville Reporter this February prompted numerous citizens to call us for details on how and where to donate their surplus fruit crop. Word is spreading that Vacaville food banks welcome fresh produce as well as non-perishables. Our detailed brochure provides up-to-date information for those who want to share their bountiful harvest.
Others called to ask for help in harvesting, since they are physically unable to do the work themselves. In the past four months, our stalwart volunteers have harvested trees at 35 different locations around town. Hundreds of pounds of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and mandarins made their way to needy people via local food providers.
VPP also got a welcome infusion of youthful team spirit this spring. The Vanden High School National Honor Society, pictured here, enthusiastically picked fruit several times as part of their community service work. They even made up T-shirts with the VPP logo to wear! The donating homeowners loved their energy, and a good time was had by all.

Our roster of adult volunteers is growing each month and features an interesting mix of people. Many retired people are donating time; among them are teachers, social workers, and a doctor. Some of our volunteers are still working day jobs; in this group we have a nurse, business owners, and a winery worker among others.
Gleaning the Vacaville Farmers Market is our ongoing summer project. From May 7 until October 29 we will be at the market each Saturday at closing time to accept donations of surplus or unsalable produce from the generous farmers and vendors. We have a great relationship with these hard working folks and appreciate their kindness. More volunteers are need for this work, if you are interested.
Our printed brochure is available at Vacaville plant nurseries, libraries, hardware stores, and other businesses. Printing of this brochure is made possible courtesy of Vacaville businesses, professional corporations and service groups. Thanks to these community partnerships, Vaca Produce Pipeline has a growing profile in our community. Since we are an all-volunteer group, working with no budget and no overhead, this tangible support from the business and professional community is much appreciated!
If you want to volunteer and do this rewarding work with us, just call! As Marilee often says,” You meet the nicest people in this line of work.”
Fern Henry 707-448-4792; Jenny Kimmel 707-446-9588; Marilee Scholl 707-469-0639