The Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer selected Rolling Harvest Food Rescue as one of this year’s 10 Good-Doers finalists. The 10 nonprofit organizations do work to support those in need and to strengthen the community for all of us. The winning organizations will be given the opportunity to work with the newspapers’ team of videographers and video storytellers, and produce a three-minute Public Service Announcement (PSA). In November, the newspapers invited nominations of nonprofit organizations for the 2016 Good-Doers Awards and received more than 100 nominations for 44 individual organizations.
Beginning Dec. 21 and continuing through Jan. 1, the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer will present individual profiles of these 10 nonprofits. The article highlighting Rolling Harvest Food Rescue appears below.
The opportunity to vote for the most deserving nonprofit will begin Jan. 2. Votes may be cast on each site every day until 3 p.m. Jan. 11. Visit buckscountycouriertimes.com/good-doers or theintell.com/good-doers to vote.
A winner will be determined – one for the Bucks County Courier Times and one for The Intelligencer – and will be awarded this year’s prize of a video public service announcement. The winners will be announced Sunday, Jan. 15 in The Intelligencer and the Bucks County Courier Times.
A team of community judges, each with a unique knowledge of the needs of Bucks County and the work of nonprofits, evaluated the nominations to help select this year’s finalists. A group of editors weighed in to break a tie after the judge’s votes were totaled. Judges were Diane Marseglia, Bucks County commissioner; Elizabeth Vibber, marketing director at Bee, Bergvall & Co. and the Catalyst Center for Nonprofit Management; Bill Hoblin, as well as two previous nonprofit honorees; director of community relations and development at Network of Victim Assistance, and Cheryl Campbell, founder and president of The Christmas Gala.
ROLLING HARVEST BRINGS FRESH, HEALTHY FOOD TO THOSE IN NEED
By Chris Ruvo, Correspondent/For the Intelligencer
Cathy Snyder is committed to turning food pantries into farmers markets full of fresh produce. That’s why Snyder founded Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, a New Hope-based nonprofit that supplies hunger-relief sites with nutritious produce grown on local farms.
“We are committed to food-justice and helping in whatever way we can,” said Snyder.
In the early days, Rolling Harvest sourced produce from one farm to deliver to one pantry.
Now, the nonprofit is partnered with 36 farms from which it procures nutrient-rich food for more than 60 hunger-relief sites, including food pantries, shelters, community feeding programs, low-income senior housing and centers, and more.
In recent years, Rolling Harvest’s hard work has led to the distribution of more than 1.3 million pounds of produce. There’s a true human impact to that impressive tally: Each month, some 20,000 people have access to healthier, higher-quality food because of Rolling Harvest and its dedicated 85 volunteers and partner farms and organizations.
“Rolling Harvest has been an amazing blessing,” said Evelyn Ayala of First Baptist Church Food Bank. “We serve over 150 families each week and can’t tell you how many times our customers have just been amazed about how good the quality of produce is that they are able to take home to their families.”
Snyder is quick to credit the farmers that supply Rolling Harvest, noting that they donate great produce and even do most of the harvesting and packing. Through the United Way of Bucks County, Rolling Harvest is also able to buy additional in-demand produce below wholesale prices directly from Bucks County farmers.
“We stay motivated and inspired by the extraordinary generosity and community commitment of our partner farmers,” said Snyder.
She also sings the praises of Rolling Harvest volunteers. The nonprofit’s team helps with daily pickup and delivery of food, assists in distribution to hunger sites, helps with some harvesting, and conducts weekly nutrition education outreach to food recipients.
Snyder got the idea for Rolling Harvest while volunteering at a local food pantry. She noticed a startling disparity in quality between the food on the shelves at the pantry and the food available at a nearby farmers market.
“The revelation of food-inequality and lack of nutritious choices for the food pantry clients became too stark to ignore,” said Snyder.
She soon began asking farmers for donations from what was left over after market hours. That led to a farmer inviting her to stop by the farm to help sort fresh produce from what needed to go to compost. Snyder could then fill her car with the good stuff and take it to the pantry, which she did.
“That has been our model ever since — to make it easy for farmers to donate by working around their schedule and making sure that their hard work is honored,” said Snyder.
Looking forward, Snyder is keen to advance Rolling Harvest’s mission.
“We know,” she said, “that we are just scratching the surface of what is out there to rescue and redistribute to tackle the issue of food-insecurity and the hardship so many struggling families face.”