Overview of OlyCAP with WSU Jefferson County Extension
The Emergency Food Distribution Program at Olympic Community Action Program (OlyCAP) provides food storage and delivery to twelve food banks and three meal programs in Jefferson and Clallam Counties. The Emergency Food Distribution Program operates a 2500 square foot warehouse just outside of Port Townsend, and owns a single truck, moving over 500,000 pounds of food annually. Tons of food are trucked weekly from across the Puget Sound and are delivered regularly at many of the food banks on the north peninsula. The program also supports the Food Bank Garden at the OlyCAP, the Pea Patch garden in Port Hadlock, and the South County Community Harvest gleaning project. The OlyCAP Pea Patch garden has been in existence since 2009, started by AmeriCorps volunteers and the garden has grown and donated garden fresh produce to the Tri-Area Food Bank and fresh cut flowers to the senior programs. The South County Community Harvest project began this year, 2014, and with volunteer power has been gleaning and donating thousands of pounds of produce from local farms to the area food banks in both Jefferson and Clallam Counties.
This season, 2014, was the introductory year of OlyCAP’s gleaning project. The project quickly became named South County Community Harvest to align with the geographic guidelines set by an already existing gleaning group in the area called Quimper Community Harvest. South County Community Harvest gleans at four farms in Jefferson County. Another small group of gleaners, also organized by OlyCAP, gleans at one farm in Clallam County. The gleaned fruits and vegetables are brought from the farms to OlyCAP’s distribution warehouse where it gets distributed to Quilcene Food Bank, Brinnon Food Bank, and Tri-Area Food Bank in Chimacum. Gleaned produce also gets dropped off at Senior Nutrition Meal sites, YMCA Summer Meals programs, Jefferson County Mental Health, and the Boiler Room (a local soup kitchen and coffee house). Plans for the second year of the program include further expanding the reach of South County Community Harvest, and the Clallam County program, as well as exploring more food recovery options for the winter months.