Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Harvest Happenings — July 2023

Page Austin, Harvest Lifestyle Manager

Summer is when kids are the most hungry because school is out. Food insecurity is more prevalent than you might think, even here in North Texas. In fact, the North Texas Food Bank’s service area, which covers 13 counties, ranks fifth highest in the nation for food insecurity, with more than 686,000 people facing hunger in 2022, and fourth highest in the U.S. for kids facing hunger (257,030 children) during the same year. That’s one in eight people and one in five children who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.

As you may know, Harvest is one of the first “agrihoods” in the country: a place where we nurture the land and the community, partly through our on-site farm and community gardens. So it makes sense that one of the ways Harvest helps fight hunger and supports the North Texas Food Bank is by participating in its garden program. These community gardens play an especially important function at the food bank. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that around 90 percent of Americans do not meet the recommendation for eating vegetables, and 80 percent eat too little fruit. Fresh produce is a powerhouse of nutrients, but food banks don’t get enough of it. That’s where gardens like Harvest’s come in. Over the years, we have donated more than 15,000 pounds of fresh produce from our community gardens.

Our partnership with NTFB doesn’t end there. Our neighbors contribute throughout the year in a variety ways: Freezing for a Reason Polar Plunge, Summer Peanut Butter drives, and Harvest Turkey Trot, to name a few.

We also believe in raising up the next generation of philanthropists and we do this through our Harvest Teen Council. They help collect donations of food and funds for the food bank through numerous events, such as the Peanut Butter Drive. Attendees at teen-organized events, like the Halloween and back-to-school parties are asked to donate canned goods for the food bank as the price of admission.

Perhaps the largest teen-led philanthropy event is Hoops for Hunger, our annual basketball challenge between Harvest and our sister community, Pecan Square. The teens handle everything from registration to signage to rules to brackets to prizes. Each year, Hoops for Hunger raises enough money to provide hundreds of meals for those in need.

If you want a home in a neighborhood where community-based philanthropy is part of everyday life, where kids learn to pay it forward, and where neighbors care about each other, Harvest is the place!

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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