Opportunities Industrialization Center

25 Feb 2020, by Admin in Current Host Sites (WA)
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815 Fruitvale Blvd.
Yakima, WA 98902

Opportunities Industrialization Center

Harvest Against Hunger Gleaning Coordinator VISTA serves at OIC of Washington, a non-profit organization providing community services through federal, state and local funding sources. The VISTA’s focus is with the OIC’s Food Bank & Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which aims to supplement the diets of low-income Americans including the elderly by providing them with food and nutrition assistance at no cost. In addition to the farm to table communications for the food bank, the vista recruits volunteers to work within a community garden, in hopes of providing access to knowledge and resources for individuals to grow their own fresh food.

Started in 2009 the Yakima Valley Produce Harvest a gleaning program, originally hosted at Northwest Harvest’s Yakima warehouse, collected gleaned produce and distribute it to Northwest Harvest’s connection. The Yakima Harvest Against Hunger VISTA position has always been the driving force for the development of a produce recovery project and has primarily focused on resource capacity-building (e.g. identifying and recruiting agricultural donors, organizing transportation and volunteer pickers, connecting farms and food banks directly). The Yakima Valley Produce Vista from 2012 reached out to OIC’s first year VISTA as a mentor in re-invigorating the once active gleaning program. This was done by a shared Facebook page with past volunteers and grower contacts.

Currently, the VISTA is assessing and identifying community needs by working with the food bank to conduct surveys to see what food items they’d like to see more of at the bank. Also collaborating with partners that might lead nutrition information that better prepare the clients for the increase of fresh produce and how to use it!