For its third year, The GardenWorks Project is taking Harvest Against Hunger virtual.
Harvest Against Hunger has been a way for us to gather and recognize the end of another season and celebrate local produce. It’s an event to give thanks and show what we can accomplish when we work together as a community.
Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, we decided that an in-person fundraiser would not be possible this year. Our courageous volunteer task force stepped up and created the beautiful, integrated event that is Harvest Against Hunger: Nourishing Our Community.
What is it?
Harvest Against Hunger: Nourishing Our Community is a multi-layered, month-long event dedicated to raising awareness of food insecurity in our community, promoting local farms and seasonal eating, and raising funds for GardenWorks to continue supporting, empowering and engaging food growers.
Throughout the month, we will be sharing facts about hunger in Illinois and debuting local farm video profiles, the first of which premiered on Sept. 9 and featured our friends at Mighty Greens Farm. The campaign will culminate in a Meet & Greet Q&A with our farm partners on Oct. 4, 2020 at 4 p.m.
Tickets for live event cost $50 per household and include:
- A live Q&A session with three farms, learning their histories, products and offerings
- A locally-sourced, seasonal CSA box for pick-up or delivery on Oct. 3
- Exclusive video recipes from College of DuPage chefs tailored to the CSA box
- Recipe cards in the CSA box
- Automatic consideration for one of two raffle prizes
Why are we doing this?
The GardenWorks Project’s programs are focused on improving access to fresh produce through food growing gardens. That’s about as local as you can get! But more recently, COVID-19 has shown us how fragile the U.S. food system is. More communities are realizing how critical local farms and producers are to improve and maintain food security, during crises.
Here in Illinois, 98% of the food we purchase is imported from other states. It is not possible to achieve food sovereignty and security if you are dependent on others.
How can I participate?
What a great question! You can engage with us and Harvest Against Hunger by:
- Purchasing a ticket. Your ticket unlocks some unique opportunities to get to know your local farmers, enjoy seasonal produce, experiment with seasonal recipes and build community. Your $50 goes right back into supporting our work to produce more farm profiles and to continue working with families interested in growing their own produce.
- Watching our mini-series. We are proud to support and promote local farms. Our farm partners welcomed us into their communities so that YOU, the consumer, can see how they operate, where your food comes from, why the land matters and how community keeps them going. Our episodes air on Sept. 9, 16 and 22 at 5 p.m. CT.
- Sharing our posts. Help us spread the word about Harvest Against Hunger by sharing our posts on your timelines, stories and blogs. Share them in groups or re-send our e-newsletter to a friend who you think might be interested in joining our community. The more people know about us, the more we can
- connect with potential partners and home gardeners, build a strong network of food growers, and promote organic growing practices.
- Reading our blogs (like this one!). We’ll be posting three more blogs this month about the importance of eating seasonally, volunteerism and GardenWorks, and the contents of our special Harvest Against Hunger box, which comes with your household’s ticket. You can also read our past posts about our COVID-19 response, ways to support local markets regardless of your budget, and more.
- Making a donation. Can’t join us for the live Q&A? You can still support our mission through a donation on our website, host a fundraiser on Facebook or donate on our videos. You can become a member of the Food Grower’s Network or renew your membership. Our shop has some swag like t-shirts, water bottles and outerwear that make great gifts. We appreciate your support!
From improving access to fresh produce for families who have lost income to promoting a greater appreciation for seasonal eating, local farms are critical to improving and maintaining food security. We hope you’ll join us on this month-long adventure in whatever way makes sense for you and your family.