Green Beans Galore: Hanover Foods' Mega Donation Helps Baltimore County Farm Fight Hunger In Style
BALTIMORE COUNTY - First Fruits Farm, a Baltimore County-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing fresh produce to those in need in the Mid-Atlantic region, recently received a special gift.
On June 10, Hanover Foods, a family-owned food processing and distribution company, delivered two tractor-trailers loaded with green beans to First Fruits Farm, extending their longstanding relationship of processing and canning the farm's produce.
Quickly responding to the generous donation, First Fruits Farm volunteers came together to package the green beans for distribution. Within 24 hours, the produce was sent to twenty-two farm partners across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The partners include Beans & Bread, BMore Community Food, the Maryland Food Bank, and York County Food Bank.
Richard Bernstein, Executive Director of First Fruits Farm, expressed his gratitude for the donation and spoke on how the farm is making strides to distribute surplus food from other organizations.
"The donation of green beans was such a blessing to the farm and our distribution partners. While we continue to care for our own crops, we are grateful to receive quality products from other organizations and serve as a distribution center for their surplus food," Bernstein said. "The Farm's new Distribution Center is already improving the packaging process and increasing efficiency every step of the way, from unloading trucks to boxing and distributing the produce for our grateful partners."
The Distribution Center, located on the farm's property in Freeland, MD, is an extension of a former shop building. With nearly double the square footage, now over 13,000 SF, it has significantly impacted the farm's operations. The center features production lines for packaging, large storage areas with refrigeration, a new loading dock, additional offices, and restrooms.
First Fruits Farm is looking forward to a significant expansion of its outreach. By 2023, they aim to partner with 200 distribution organizations, marking a 450% increase from the 35 partners they collaborated with in 2020. The farm is also planning to welcome approximately 18,000 volunteers who will contribute to their mission.
The farm also hopes to surpass last year's record of harvesting, packaging, and distributing nearly 2.4 million pounds of healthy food. First Fruits Farm remains committed to serving the community as the demand for food relief continues to rise due to persistent inflation and reductions in federal COVID programs and SNAP benefits.
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