IPM’s Project Mercy Efforts Focus on Outgrowing Hunger
IPMers dedicated their efforts to providing fresh produce to those in need during the third quarter of 2016. The quarter’s Integrated Project Mercy initiative, “Outgrowing Hunger,” involved each of our seven offices partnering with local farms who donate a portion of the food they produce to the hungry.
The Eastern Region partnered with Andrew and Diana Rodgers of Clark Farm in Carlisle, Mass. The farm’s core values include community engagement and increasing access to healthy food for everyone, and Andrew and Diana donate crops to several programs that feed the hungry. Our volunteers helped harvest fresh produce that will be transported to a meal center in South Lawrence, Mass., offering two nutritious meals per day to guests from the local community.
In August, our Chicago region volunteers partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank by helping to harvest sweet corn at Origer Farm in Marengo. The corn was then brought to the food bank for distribution.
The Minneapolis office teamed with Second Harvest Heartland in October to sort and pack food, providing fresh produce for distribution at six area locations.
Volunteers from the Los Angeles office packaged and organized more than 300 food bags for the Food 4 Kids program, as part of the Food Finders organization in Long Beach. Food Finders is a food bank and food rescue program that picks up donated food from grocery stores, restaurants, and produce markets to distribute to a variety of shelters and social service agencies for needy families in Southern California.
The San Francisco crew partnered with Urban Farmers - a grassroots, all-volunteer, non-profit organization located in the East Bay of San Francisco. Their goal is to build a community-based, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable model of hunger relief. They harvest excess backyard fruit for donation to the needy. The San Fran crew harvested fresh apples with the Urban Farmers program from backyards in the Contra Costa County area.
The St. Louis team members went to Eckert’s Farm in Belleville, Mo. and harvested 753 pounds of apples for the St. Louis Area FoodBank. More than 20 employees and members of their families participated.
Indianapolis has its own urban farm, Indy Urban Acres, which services Gleaners, one of the area’s primary food banks. In one morning, the Indy volunteers harvested and delivered 460 pounds of tomatoes directly to the food bank for immediate availability.