Website: http://www.vashonfoodbank .org
10060 SW 210th St. #4,
Vashon, WA 98070
Vashon Maury Community Food Bank
Harvest for Vashon began in 2017 as a collaboration between two Vashon Island organizations dedicated to local food justice. The first organization is the Food Access Partnership (FAP), a committee of the Vashon Island Growers’ Association (VIGA). The Food Access Partnership finds sustainable funding for the VIGA Farm Bucks program, which supports local farmers by providing local families with Bucks that can be redeemed as cash for locally grown fruits, veggies, plant starts, honey, mushrooms, seafood, and meat. The second organization is the Vashon Food Bank, which has been an island institution for over 40 years. As of 2019, the Vashon Food Bank serves 1 in 7 families on the island.
Each growing season brings more local produce than residents can harvest from their fruit trees and gardens. Recognizing the need for a full time staff member to get the excess into hungry homes, FAP reached out to the Vashon Food Bank and brought in AmeriCorps VISTA to create the Harvest for Vashon program. Studies have shown that food insecurity isn’t just about getting sufficient calories. Humans need essential nutrients found in fresh produce in order to thrive and be healthy. Harvest for Vashon utilizes a gleaning program and a public education campaign to reroute produce that would otherwise go uneaten into the food bank. Depending on the week, islanders can find potatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti squash, lettuce, kale, salad greens, garlic, apples, pears, plums, and fresh berries depending on the season.
As Harvest for Vashon approaches the end of its second year on the island, the Food Bank reflects on a busy growing season. Five programs were developed by the VISTA to net more produce for the food bank and educate islanders on food insecurity. An active gleaning program utilized volunteer support to glean from farms and private properties. Grow-a-row encouraged the active gardening scene to plant extra specifically for the food bank. The King County Farmers’ Share provided funding to buy wholesale produce from Vashon farms for food bank distribution. Grounds for a future food preservation project were explored. Lastly, the Island Food Action Network was founded to unite siloed nonprofits on the island to create collaborative partnerships to better serve and feed the island with.
Host Site Articles
- Donor Relations at the the Vashon Food Bank
- Fruit Harvest: When Abundance Becomes too Much (Vashon Food Bank)
- Harvesting for Beginners: What equipment do I need? (Vashon Food Bank)
- How to Give Away Free Vegetable Starts (Vashon Food Bank)
- Marketing and Visibility at the Vashon Food Bank
- Vashon Maury Community Food Bank
- Volunteer Relations with the Vashon Food Bank