Shoppers visiting the Pleasantville Farmers Market this Saturday, July 24, can help food pantries ease food insecurity in the region by purchasing extra items of produce and allocating those items to go to area residents in need.
Farmers (and bakers too) will have collection bins at their checkout stations. Items can also be donated at a tent staffed by representatives from The Pleasantville Community Garden and Hillside Food Outreach, a local charity that provides meals for thousands of residents in Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties each year.
“This is a situation where complementary efforts have come together, we’re each other’s missing pieces,” said Peter Rogovin, president and chairman of Foodchester, Inc. “The garden has volunteers and contacts with food pantries. Hillside Food Outreach provides a system to deliver nutritious food to those in need. The market has generous shoppers and vendors with fresh food, and we seek to support community organizations.”
Held twice a year to highlight an opportunity for shoppers and farmers to contribute, the donation totals collected are inspiring. In previous events, shoppers have purchased and donated more than 650 pounds of fresh fruit and produce. Another 150 to 300 pounds of fruit and vegetables are often contributed by farmers and vendors at the end of the market as well. That’s over 900 pounds of fresh, nutritious food immediately donated to Hillside Food Outreach and other local pantries.
Every week, volunteers from The Pleasantville Garden grow produce in local gardens and collect donations from the market’s generous farmers, with over 2,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruit collected to date this year.
“Donations by shoppers on July 24 will help us celebrate the weekly generosity of our farmers and food artisans, who have really partnered with us in this cause,” said Steven Bates, executive director of market operations for the Pleasantville Farmers Market.
“The Pleasantville Farmers Market program has been an essential part of our organization and the amazing generosity of the farmers every weekend has allowed us to greatly expand and donate thousands of pounds of incredibly fresh vegetables,” said Ashly Juskus, farmers market manager.
For more information or to subscribe to market news, view vendor lists or an interactive map of the market or get directions and more details, visit www.pleasantvillefarmersmarket.org.