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According to the USDA, more than 10 percent of American households experience food insecurity each year. That’s why Integrated Project Management Company (IPM) chose to adopt “From Farms to Food Banks” as the theme for the first-quarter Integrated Project Mercy activities.
“This theme meant bolstering the production of crops reaching people with food insecurity in our communities,” explains John Gracia, a director in IPM’s Boston office and the Q1 Project Mercy lead. “The sweat equity of our spring labor is now providing fresh produce throughout the growing season to those in need.”
IPM employees from the Boston office volunteered at a local farm to prepare the land for the spring growing season. They supported Aurelia’s Garden, a volunteer-led farming organization that grows produce and donates it to people in need. IPMers aerated soil, planted seeds, weeded gardens, and even repaired an electric fence on the property.
In Chicago, IPMers volunteered at a local community garden by prepping planting beds, repairing and installing trellises, sharpening tools, trimming fruit vines, and cleaning a garden water feature. Their efforts supported Fremont Township Community Garden, which grows produce to donate to food pantries and low-income seniors. The garden also hosts educational programs and community events.
A team from the Los Angeles office worked in an orange grove picking about 1,000 pounds of fruit. They volunteered with Food Forward, which collects excess food from gardens, groves, and farmers’ markets to donate to food banks. Their efforts reduce food waste while providing nourishment to those in need.
IPMers in Minneapolis volunteered by packing meals for Feed My Starving Children. The nonprofit organization develops, prepares, and packs meals to distribute to developing nations suffering from food scarcity. The meals are developed with nutritionists to reduce health issues that develop due to malnutrition.
In New Jersey, a team partnered with a local farmer’s organization by picking up donated produce and dropping it off at food banks. Farmers Against Hunger works as a bridge between the state’s farming community and local hunger relief organizations. When farmers have surplus crops, the group coordinates harvesting, pickup, and distribution of food for those in need.
Volunteers in San Francisco helped the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank prepare food bundles and deliver them to struggling families. The food bank’s mission is to address hunger in the area through a food pantry network and home grocery deliveries, among other valued services. The San Francisco team was able to prepare and distribute meals for more than 1,000 families.
In St. Louis, the IPM team volunteered at the Fresh Starts Community Garden. The organization sources hyperlocal produce to distribute in areas with poor food access. The group also assisted at the Rung for Women Farm, a nonprofit that teaches women to nurture plants from farm to table. At both locations, IPMers helped with planting, weeding, and moving dirt.
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