Yellow Squash & Zucchini
Itâ€™s hard to imagine that nearly every month, over 450,000 brothers & sisters face hunger in Orange County alone. Iâ€™m not sure how to stomach that tragic statistic, in an affluent area such as Orange County, no less.
But I do know that over 25 beautiful souls contributed to those who hunger, just yesterday, at the 7-acre, Incredible Edible Garden in Irvine. And that is a glorious statistic indeed!
They weeded, gleaned & harvested over 1,500 pounds of yellow squash & zucchini in a span of 2 hours. That amounts to 6,000 meals to: needy children, seniors on fixed incomes, single-parents, the working poor, the disabled, the temporarily unemployed, & the homeless.
Earlier in the week, someone asked: “But why an agricultural field for the hungry? I mean, there are food stamps, right?”
I think we can all deduce that food stamps offer a meager allowance. Many families purchase bare necessities & starch-filled foods to hastily curb their hunger, leaving very little room for adequate nutrition & healthy meals. As such, those who suffer for want of food, subsequently face health risks, such as: obesity, diabetes, anemia, & heart disease. This deteriorating quality of life is what the Second Harvest Food bank sought to counter, by developing a partnership with donor agricultural fields.
By channeling fruits & vegetables from local fields, (such as the Incredible Edible Garden) to a network of member charities, Second Harvest directly addresses the dietary deficiencies among these low-income families.
Sam Caruthers, the sweet, kind-hearted man who has worked for Second Harvest for over 12 years, offered us this â€“ that nearly 65% of those who do go hungry are children & seniors. They also happen to be the most vulnerable to health problems. So, a portion of fresh produce & the consequent vitamins they contain helps maintain the health of those most susceptible to hunger.
Yellow squash & zucchini never looked so good.