The “New Normal”… at JK Community Farms
by Samantha Kuhn, Executive Director, JKCF
The JK Community Farm is adapting as we go, we have temporarily changed our volunteer model to more frequent groups of 10. We update our website weekly with volunteer opportunities. Click here to view the “COVID 19” volunteer guide which includes information for volunteers, how we are following CDC guidelines, keeping our volunteers healthy, and how people can help from home.
Most importantly, we need to be able to increase our yields to meet the increased food insecurity in our community. At the beginning of the year with help from our annual partners, we set our goal to donate 135,000 lbs., which will provide 108,000 organic meals in 2020. We are on track with our original schedule and donation goal. However, with the coronavirus and business closings, food insecurity is increasing daily, and our food pantry partners are seeing more need than ever (an average of 15 new families every day).
We are doing everything we can to grow to meet the need of our community and ensure that everyone has access to healthy food. As food donations from grocery stores to food pantries have diminished, the JK Community Farm has become a lifeline for thousands of families in our community. We have new food pantries reaching out every day to receive our food. With the help of the Land Trust of Virginia, we were able to put about 150-acres into conservation easement, we are currently using 78-acres – so we have space to expand and grow to meet the need. Our total donations to food pantries since the beginning of the pandemic are about 25,500 lbs. We have received donations of 27 cattle and 1 pig from generous local hobby farmers which we have processed and distributed to food pantry partners. (Donations of livestock, and eggs from community members make an incredible impact).
On May 16th, we are hosting our annual Plant-a-Thon event which we have restructured for groups of 10 to volunteer at the farm every 2 hours. Throughout the day, we will plant 9,000 seedlings. Interested in volunteering? Click here. Every $35 donation to the JK Community Farm helps us to grow 2 weeks of healthy meals for a person in need. Interested in making a donation? Click here.
Thank you for your help and support!
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