SAVE THE DATE for the Second Annual Fundraiser for Fresh Food on the Table!
Appetizers at 5pm, Dinner at 6pm, followed by a square dance at 8pm! In the spirit of Good Cheer, the dinner is free, so please come prepared to donate generously!
Please register by ordering your FREE ticket at www.freshfoodonthetable.brownpapertickets.com.
Indoor seating is secured for the first 100 guests to register. There will be outdoor seating for overflow, so get your tickets soon.
Fresh Food on the Table is a program of the Good Cheer Food Bank in partnership with the Whidbey Institute and the South Whidbey School District, and in collaboration with South Whidbey Commons, Greenbank Farm, Deep Harvest Farm, and Skyroot Farm.
The work of this garden-based effort supports the Food Bank’s mission of “creating a hunger-free community” and strengthens the local food system by bringing together community partners, farmers, and people of all ages. Each contributes a unique piece–be it growing produce for the Food Bank, or playing a role in one of the program’s many levels of food-based education.
Central to the work of Fresh Food on the Table is improving Food Bank client access to locally grown produce. Last year, the Good Cheer Garden grew over 5,000 pounds of produce for the Food Bank. In addition, another 8,000 pounds of locally grown produce was grown, purchased, and gleaned from the network of Fresh Food Gardens and many other farms and gardens across the community.
The educational components of the project are under the direction of Good Cheer Garden Coordinator, Cary Peterson, along with the three young adult apprentices who come from across the US and Canada to participate in Fresh Food’s Community Gardening Leadership Training. As part of the Leadership Training, now in its third year, the apprentices develop skills in agriculture, community leadership, garden-based education, and in organizing volunteer-driven efforts by creating service learning programs and fun work parties. These hard-working folks serve in the community through their work in the Food Bank, as well as in four community and school gardens throughout South Whidbey.
The gardens not only produce vegetables for the Food Bank, but are also classrooms for school-age students, with lessons that support core curriculum educational requirements. Community groups and college classes participate in service learning programs that teach not just how to grow food, but the principles of sustainable, local agriculture, while also experiencing the value of volunteerism. Special classes such as Growing Groceries for the public, and a Sustainable Ag intensive for the apprentices take place at the participating farms and gardens throughout the year.
Local farmers share their expertise with the Community Gardening Leadership apprentices and Food Bank clients, and also generously donate their surplus crops to the Food Bank. In addition, the Food Bank purchases produce from a local farm throughout the winter months.
The season’s bounty is extended by Good Cheer Food Bank Manager, Karen Korbelik, who oversees the processing of garden surplus—whether it is freezing kale or preparing the delicious soups served at the Food Bank. Korbelik also shares cooking tips with clients as they shop—she calls is “relational education.” Food preparation classes that teach clients how to process and preserve garden surplus are held on-site at the Food Bank. This year’s program will incorporate culinary education for teens.
About Fresh Food on the Table
Fresh Food on the Table is a project of the Good Cheer Food Bank, and is directed Good Cheer Garden Coordinator, Cary Peterson.