Katie is an AmeriCorps Harvest VISTA member coordinating Kitsap Harvest’s Grow-a-Row program as the Grow-a-Row Coordinator VISTA. Kitsap Harvest (KH) is based in Bremerton but serves the whole Kitsap County area in Washington. KH has an established gleaning program that is very fruit heavy and would like to expand and increase vegetable donations by recruiting members of the community to grow in their home gardens, community gardens, and local farms. Neighborhoods will have weekly donation stations available to donate their produce which gets sorted at the distribution warehouse then sent out to people and organizations feeding those in need.
Katie has lived in Washington her whole life, growing up in Bremerton then moving to Ferndale for the remainder of high school, an agricultural town in Whatcom County about 20 minutes from the Canadian border. She has since moved back to Bremerton and worked at Kitsap Community Food Co-op right at the start of the pandemic. One of the things they struggled with at the co-op was food waste. The co-op’s mission is to provide healthy, organic and local food (especially produce) in what is otherwise a food desert. They would end up having food that wasn’t “perfect” or “store quality” but otherwise totally good to eat. Katie helped problem solve and created a connection to the Bremerton chapter of Food Not Bombs, a group of people who set up a table and feed whoever is hungry, to take the food and use it in their meals. During the summer she learned about Kitsap Harvest when they came to glean her neighbors’ plum trees and was grateful to know that there was a program in her community doing something about food waste and hunger insecurity and wanted to be a part of the solution. She’s excited about being part of this program and serving her community.