The Ashland Food Project would like to thank the Ashland community for the great support you’ve have shown over the past 4 years. This innovative idea to get the community involved in creating a sustainable source of food for the Ashland Emergency Food Bank has become an astounding success. Every other month, we deliver around 20,000 pounds of much-needed food.
The system is very simple: You sign up to be a regular donor with the Ashland Food Project. Then, each week when you shop, you pick up one extra non-perishable food item and place it in the green bag we provide. A volunteer from your neighborhood comes by your home 6 times a year to pick up your bag. It’s that easy!
Besides providing food, an important goal of the AFP is to help create connections between people and to empower people to join together to tackle a local problem. The neighborhood-based program has helped neighbors to get to know each other and brought various strands of the Ashland community together. Each pickup day, about 200 people of all ages, work joyfully as they come together to deliver, sort, and shelve the community’s donation. It is a glorious example of community spirit.
Another AFP goal is to create a system that is replicable in other communities, since the problem of food insecurity is nationwide. The shift from a “food drive” model to a “donor drive” model has helped food banks become stronger with a predictable supply of food and given citizens an easy way to help. Through the efforts of the Neighborhood Food Project, an outgrowth of the AFP, there are now seven Jackson County towns with their own food projects as well as a dozen or more around the country. We have provided start-up guidance, database, website, and graphic art support. Through the efforts of 340 Neighborhood Coordinators and 5,500 regular donors, the communities in Jackson County have combined to deliver 300,000 pounds of food in 2012 alone!
The Ashland Food Project is an all volunteer organization. The Steering Committee, the Coordinators and You the food donor, all volunteer time and energy to help create this amazing and effective program for helping solve the issue of hunger in our community.
So, when you see those green bags out on doorsteps all over Ashland, imagine the same thing happening all across the country. And it is all happening one person at a time and one green bag at a time. Will you be the next one to join us?
Please consider participating as a donor or a neighborhood volunteer. It is very easy and it feels so good to be a part of this important work. Our next food pickups are April 13th and June 8th. Sign up at www.ashlandfoodproject.com