As a first-year project, volunteer outreach and recruitment during 2013 were some of the highest priorities for the coordinator. Although FISH is supported by regular volunteers, a contact list for volunteers specifically willing to glean had not been created. The best pools for recruitment were from FISH’s pre-existing volunteers, local university students, and the adult activity center. The coordinator worked with a few university clubs, especially No Kid Hungry. In the spring, the coordinator conducted door-to-door food drives and transitioned harvest activities to gleaning and gardening events throughout the growing seasons.
Meeting some of the master gardeners in town opened the door to some great gardening projects in 2013. At the beginning of 2013, Ellensburg had one, well-established community garden on the edge of town. Due to the garden’s popularity, it was forced to put would-be gardeners on a waiting list. After discovering an abandoned lot near the heart of downtown a handful of gardeners and community advocates began transforming it into a new garden. The coordinator helped prepare a proposal and deliver it to the city council. Once the city granted the gardeners a five-year lease, the coordinator procured lumber, planned construction days, and called on volunteers to build raised beds and install irrigation. Following the example of St. Andrew’s Garden, the downtown garden allotted two plots for FISH Food Bank.