Cindy Elder, director of communications at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, explains just what happens when Rhode Islanders put their minds, time and resources together for the greater good of Our Backyard.
Q: What do you get when you put together a doctor, a farmer and a volunteer?
A: In Rhode Island, you get a new community farm that produced more than 8,500 pounds of fresh produce in its first season.
This Rhode Island moment began less than a year ago, when Dr. Charles McCoy approached the Rhode Island Community Food Bank with an irresistible offer: he would provide an acre beautiful farmland in Warren if the Food Bank could find a way to farm it.With six volunteer-operated community farms already growing fresh produce for Rhode Islanders in need, the Food Bank was eager to add a seventh farm. But they needed volunteer energy and expertise to make it happen.
The expertise came from Chris Clegg of Four Town Farms, who jumped in enthusiastically to help prepare and plant the fields. Then, Food Bank volunteer Diane Stacy, a member of Women Ending Hunger, shouldered the role of volunteer manager for the farm, with responsibility for finding and coordinating volunteers to harvest and maintain the gardens.
The net result: In their very first growing season, the McCoy Community Farm has harvested more than 8,500 pounds of fresh produce for Rhode Island families in need. That’s what happens when Rhode Islanders see an opportunity and work together to achieve a goal. Thank you to all the Rhode Islanders who work at community farms around the state!