Americans have become increasingly sensitive to our fragile environment and its relationship to the sustainability of farms. The Seed Farm in Lehigh County was ahead of its time in recognizing the symbiosis of a healthy environment and well-run farming businesses. The importance of that symbiosis applies to every one of us, whether we purchase our food without the need to clip coupons or we are relegated to getting our food from a food pantry. For more than 50 years, the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley has led the way in reminding us that we can’t leave anyone behind, and is proud that its merger with the Seed Farm enables both the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Seed Farm to advance an agenda that is right for all of us here in the Lehigh Valley.
The Second Harvest Food Bank and The Seed Farm will be able to provide expanded food system training, including farming, packing, grading, and warehouse experience. These training opportunities coincide with Governor Tom Wolf’s goal to move Pennsylvania to first in the nation in organic production and the state’s expanded focus on new farmer training. The coupling of the Second Harvest Food Bank and The Seed Farm is designed to more broadly respond to a variety of needs in our communities, including the following:
Preservation of the work the Seed Farm has done since it was established but struggled to find the funding to do, most importantly, preserving farms by producing the farmers needed to operate them;
By preserving farms, protect our fragile environment;
Train entrepreneurs to be responsive to new and emerging market opportunities;
Increase the availability of farmers’ markets by growing more direct farm-to-consumer products;
Increase the supply of fresh, nutritious produce for low-income people;
Diversify the farming community as well as the product going to market;
Strengthen our relationship with the farming community throughout the region, which can lead to many benefits, including more fresh product available at Sharon’s Pantry, the Second Harvest Food Bank’s warehouse in East Allen Township;
Preserve or even create jobs.
We invite you to be a part of the solution. Stay tuned for ways to get involved!
Author: Briana McGonagle