Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

The Oxbow/Hopelink connection

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King County has no shortage of nonprofits doing inspired work to feed people. One of those organizations is Hopelink. Hopelink offers a variety of services to care for families in crises and a big focus of theirs is food. Each of Hopelink’s five centers offers a food bank and food delivery to individuals who are homebound.

Oxbow has been fortunate over the past several years to develop a substantial relationship with Hopelink and to contribute to their efforts to bring good food to people in need. Oxbow began helped to develop in Rotary First Harvest‘s SnoValley Harvest program in partnership with AmeriCorps and Hopelink in 2012. For three seasons, volunteers visited the farm once a week and gleaned produce from our fields for a donation to a Hopelink food bank. To “glean” produce is to harvest food that farmers, for whatever reason, won’t be selling. Sometimes this is because the food is a few days past its marketable prime and sometimes it doesn’t make sense for farm staff to devote labor to the harvest.

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A box of red crisp lettuce from Oxbow bound for a Hopelink food bank

We are thankful for the volunteers Hopelink rallies to glean food from our farm and glad to donate our produce. We are equally grateful of Hopelink’s efforts to support our programs whenever they can. In addition to gleaning from our food, Hopelink also purchases food from us. This past week, the Hopelink truck left Oxbow with hundreds of pounds of gleaned summer squash and several cases of lettuce, a wholesale add-on that both diversified the haul and helped us boost our bottom line.

Hopelink featured prominently in our “philanthro-pea”-themed summer camp, too. Lindsay visited the Share the Peas campers twice–once for a presentation about hunger and once to facilitate a glean of kale with the kids at the end of the week.

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Lindsay Robinson from Hopelink Harvest leading a conversation about community hunger with our summer campers

Partnering with organizations like Hopelink increases our capacity to reach people with our food and our message.

Hopelink’s weekly glean is a drop-in volunteer event every Tuesday afternoon. Everyone is welcome! To learn more about joining the crew, click here.

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