Fernwood Helping Hands

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Fernwood Helping Hands is a community outreach program where skilled volunteers 'glean' - the practice of collecting fresh, excess foods - from farms across the CRD. Recovered surplus farm produce will be redistributed to individuals experiencing food insecurity who access neighbourhood level programming, including the regional wide produce distribution progra, the Good Food Box. 

Fernwood Helping Hands is a collaborative project between Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group (Fernwood NRG) and LifeCycles Project Society; two organizations focused on decreasing food insecurity and increasing access to healthy food, bolstering food literacy siills, and support community food sovereignty in the CRD. 

How it works: 

  • Farmers contact the Farm Gleaning Coordinator when they have crop available, either for pick-up or an on-farm pick by volunteer gleaners
  • The Coordinator will train and organizes a team of skilled, dedicated volunteers (that could be you!) to travel to farm with tools and harvest bins to harvest available produce or pick-up previously harvested produce
  • The Farmer provides an invoice for the produce donated, and is then eligible for an in-kind tax receipt
  • The Coordinator brings food to Fernwood NRG, where the food is used in the Good Food Box, community meals, community kitchen workshops; all redistributing to fantastic folks, many of which are experiencing food insecurity

What they harvest: 

FHH will harvest any crop farms have to offer - last season, LifeCycles harvested 40 different crops, from arugula to zucchini! The crop must not be past due, and still hold market value if a tax receipt is desired. This includes: 

  • Surplus crop left over after harvest
  • Post-market produce, provided it has market value
  • Crops that market forces have made uneconomical for the farmer to harvest otherwise

    Farms who wish to be part of this project can contact Alex Harned, Food Access Coordinator. Volunteers can find out more info at the Fernwood Helping Hands website.