From After the Harvest Executive Director Lisa Ousley: As we look forward to the holidays and time to rest, celebrate and enjoy family and friends, I wanted to take this time to thank everyone in our After the Harvest family for a great year and share some of our outcomes as we close the books on 2017.
Thanks to our partnership with Farmers’ Choice and Harvesters – the Community Food Network, as well as the support of all our supporters and funders, After the Harvest was able to surpass our 5-million-pound goal in 2017, providing more than 5.1 million pounds of fresh produce for hungry people in Missouri and Kansas. We achieved this by increasing the number of gleaned pounds by 13% and number of events by 22%, as well as increasing the number of truckloads by 52%. And the ranks of our beloved farmers grew a whopping 77%!
2017 was indeed a year of growth for After the Harvest. In fact, we grew our organization by two more full-time positions, hiring Mariah Friend as Volunteer Coordinator and Megan Hunter as Development Director. We also grew our board, adding six new members: Ryan Chiaverini, Mary Dees, Deanna Diebolt, Elisa Haake, Joelsette Hernandez-Jones and Matt Merrill. Together they brought new expertise and talent to our existing board.
And now it’s full steam ahead into the new year. We’re looking forward to another year of growth in 2018 as we expand our Gleaning Network and our produce procurement efforts. We will keep you up on the details as they happen. Meanwhile, we ask that as you make final decisions on your year-end giving, you think of After the Harvest, where each dollar donated provides 33 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables for hungry families, children and seniors in your community.
To find out more about After the Harvest, go here to check out our video.
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!