With no power throughout much of the Bethesda area, the FreshFarm market had tons of leftover produce this past weekend. Many people had no way to refrigerate food, and most of the food remained as the market closed. Unfortunately, Whole Foods in Bethesda lost power too, so we could not prep the food to be frozen. On the other hand, our fridge and freezer space at Church in Bethesda kept power the whole weekend.
We could not stand to see hundreds of pounds of food go to waste. With just a couple last-minute volunteers, we picked up over 370 lbs. of produce, all from Spiral Path Farm. This included over 100 lbs. of tomatoes, 50 lbs. of zucchini, 45 lbs. of onions, 35 lbs of yellow squash, Japanese white radishes, carrots, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, swiss chard, radicchio, herbs, and more. We quickly got the produce out of the heat and into our refrigerators, and throughout the week, Bethesda Cares chef Blake used as much as he could in his daily meals prepared for the homeless. The rest will be prepared this upcoming Saturday or donated to Manna Food Center to be distributed to those in need throughout Montgomery County.
It’s incredibly rewarding work, especially knowing that you’re not only helping to preserve hundreds of pounds of food, but that you’re helping tackle the issues of hunger and homelessness in our community. Although we missed Whole Foods this week, we look forward to prepping with their staff volunteers later this month.