After the Harvest’s mission would be impossible to fulfill without the contributions of our beloved growers and farmers. In 2021, ATH worked with nearly 200 farmers to provide nutritious, fresh produce to Kansas City-area people battling food insecurity. While we cherish all of our farmers, we’d like to take a moment to highlight and honor two of our favorites.
Joe Steineger is a lifelong farmer and the former Mayor of Kansas City, Kan., from 1987 to1995. He has supported ATH since the beginning, donating excess produce from his farmers market stand and planting extra rows specifically for donation. At the end of last season, Joe informed ATH that he would be retiring.
Since 2014, volunteers gleaned or picked up produce from Joe’s farm on more than 140 occasions, harvesting a total of nearly 40,000 pounds of greens, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini and more.
Over the years, Joe has become a friend to many of our staff members and volunteers, often working right alongside them in the field. We wish him well in retirement and will miss our regular visits to his family farm.
We were deeply saddened last December to hear of the passing of Arnall Early of Lone Jack, Mo. We met Arnall in late 2017. While not a farmer by trade, after retirement he decided he wanted to grow food to help people and planted butternut squash at his home. He reached out to ATH and that Fall our volunteers gleaned over 8,000 pounds of butternut squash.
Each year after, Arnall worked with ATH staff to plan a massive garden specifically for donation with both spring and fall crops. Arnall (and his cats) would always greet our volunteers with a smile and his backyard farm became a favorite spot of many volunteers. Read Arnall’s obituary here.