While shopping around at the winter markets you may have noticed the Cornucopia Food Pantry’s and Waysmeet Center’s colorful table. The Waysmeet Center houses the
Cornucopia Food Pantry located in Durham and is at the Winter Farmers’ Markets to conduct a service called food rescue or ‘gleaning’ and to spread the word about the Center. Food rescue, in the case of farmers’ markets, is when a pantry volunteer receives food donations from farms at the end of the market day. Typically, these donations are product that the farm did not sell during the market and have a shelf-life after being harvested (greens, for example, would not make it 2 more weeks to sell at the next market). Of course, farms are also very generous and donate many more shelf-stable products like potatoes and squash. Customers of the market can also make donations that will be brought back to the food pantry. Food rescue is also conducted at local grocery stores or any other opportunity given to the center to collect fresh food for the community. In the summer, gleaning often happens right in the fields when farms have more produce than they can harvest themselves.These items then get driven back to the Waysmeet Center/Cornucopia Food Pantry and people within the community can have a grocery shopping-like experience with no questions asked.
The Waysmeet Center, the Cornucopia Food Pantry, and the UNH Organic Gardening Club also help put together community dinners, some dinners even have a drum circle! Spring through Fall they have a community garden supplying the food pantry with fresh produce for its community members. Also, in Fall and Spring they assist in city reach and homeless outreach by supplying food and clothing to the homeless. If you would like to learn more about donating, volunteering, or just more information about the Waysmeet Center and Cornucopia Food Pantry they will be at winter markets and you can visit their websites here:
The Waysmeet Center: http://www.waysmeetcenter.org
The Cornucopia Food Pantry: http://www.cornucopia.unh.edu