Sharing Fresh Bounty

Each Sunday, purveyors at the Saugatuck Congregational Church Farmers Market bring too much produce.

They’re not poor planners.  They know that at the end of each day the unsold food will be donated to the Park City Initiative, a settlement center that provides Bridgeport residents with fresh, locally grown goods.

This Sunday (June 6), you can add to the farmers’ generosity.  And have a great time in the process.

The Interfaith Council is sponsoring an Environmental Celebration.  Part food drive, part homage to earth, part art show and concert, it’s the perfect do-good, have-fun way to kick off summer.

From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., there’s entertainment — everything from an Irish band to high school singers.

Art will range from professional photos, to drawings from churches and synagogues, to art made from recycled products by nursery schoolers.

“Meditation booklets” will describe in poetry and prayer the many ways in which religions — Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism — honor the planet.

But the key is food.  Westporters can help Westport families in need by bringing whole wheat pastas, reduced fat peanut butter, tuna packed in water, whole grain cereals without sugar, low sodium soups and brown rice — or other healthy foods.

Those goods will be given to Westport’s Department of Human Services.  Over 150 families here are in need, organizers say.

Both the farmers’ donations to Bridgeport, and market-goers’ contributions to their neighbors, are crucial.  Food pantries everywhere suffer dips each summer.

“Come!” urges Interfaith Council co-president Cece Saunders.

“Tap your feet to music and church bells.  Celebrate with us.  It’s a glorious thing.”

Planning Sunday's Farmers Market (from left): Angela Belta (Belta’s Farm), Mary Ann West (Saugatuck Church), Dolores Bacharach (Interfaith Council), Cece Saunders and Rebecca Hayward (co-chairs), Mary Attanasio, Geri Zakoff (nutritionist).

4 responses to “Sharing Fresh Bounty

  1. Dan-love your coverage of this event. As co-chair of the event I am pleased that you focused on the food aspect.

    It always disturbs me that people contribute unhealthy food to food pantries such as kraft mac and cheese, canned fruit loaded with high fructose corn syrup, hamburger helper, white rice, high sodium items, etc…..no wonder there is a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes and obesity in communities in need.

    Cash donations for food cards or the purchase of healthy food, plus education is the key to really helping people in need eat and stay disease free. In fact we are going to provide a healthy eating/cooking handout along with the food donation.

    I am so thrilled our group is donating to Westport Human Services. Our town’s human services maintains a low profile. However there are currently over 160 Westport families they help with many things. We are always so generous to our neighboring towns in need and too often forget that we have people in Westport who also need our help. Human Services does an outstanding job of helping these families in a private, discreet manner.

    I wish more people would purchase CSA shares to donate to human services so that fresh produce could be provided to our Westport Families in need weekly…Mary Ann West coordinates this effort.

  2. I do so enjoy your comments, Rebecca. A voice of reason in the murky tide of sludge. You have brought a new mindset to me: instead of pointing fingers at someone when something is seemingly drastically wrong, I now question why our culture produced such a problem or voice of darkness. It is a rather refreshing outlook although with as few answers as before.
    Obviously,a good project as set forth above. As a lifetime member of Saugatuck Congregational Church, I found it a mecca, if not a catylst, for goodness in this town for decades.

  3. Sensible One

    Rebecca,
    Actually a CSA shares program just started this past Thursday at Wakeman Farm in Westport. Stone Gardens Farm is the place to contact in Shelton if interested…. They provided wonderful lettuce, bok choy, herbs, garlic, radishes…. They also sold lovely bouquets of flowers and delectable strawberries – plus bread!!
    They are lovely people to deal with!

    • I am aware of the wonderful CSA program run by GVI at Wakeman Farm and the hard work that has gone into setting it up. It is a very exciting program, as are the many other things planned for the Wakeman Town Farm.

      The point I was making is that Saugatuck has been successful at finding people to purchase and donate CSA shares to benefit Westport Human Services and thereby provide the needy right here in 06880 with fresh produce.

      If the Wakeman farm is also doing this to help support needy families in Westport I would love to know that. It would be great. And that would be in line with making Westport a model town, taking care of our neighbors.

      Westport is blessed to have two farmers markets, one on Thursday and one on Sunday, and several opportunities to purchase CSA shares.

      How great to have so many people interested in providing opportunities to support our farmers and offer fresh local produce and education to all of us.

      With shrinking budgets all around I am really trying to make one simple point, and that is to encourage people to continue to help surrounding towns but to look first at how they an help their neighbors right here in Westport.