I’ve volunteered at City Harvest for many years. It’s one of the few places where individuals, instead of groups, can sign up and work events. It’s also one of the most rewarding things I do. Volunteering last week reminded me of why I love City Harvest, and why you should, too!


City Harvest does many important things, and Mobile Markets are among the most important programs that City Harvest operates. The markets are set up in low income neighborhoods and in areas considered “food deserts.” And City Harvest delivers the food directly to people who need it most. I see it first hand when I volunteer at these events.


Last weekend I volunteered at a Mobile Market at the Astoria Houses in Queens. I’ve lived in Queens for 8 years and I never knew this place existed. It’s an area unknown to many people, but not City Harvest. They set up four huge tents, and piled tons of food beneath them. Literally, tons of food.


They had watermelons, tomatoes, onions, and corn. I worked the watermelon table, handing out large, heavy fruit to people. I got a pretty good workout. Each person got one portion of each item. In other mobile markets, people with more family members got bigger portions depending on the food and supply that day.


Dozens of people were already in line when I got there. And hundreds of people streamed through the line during the two hours we were there. It felt good to help. What struck me was the people, grateful, smiling, who depend on this food. They made me grateful that I am involved with an organization that meets people’s needs on the ground.


And City Harvest does more than hand out food. They teach people how to use the food they’re given. At this Mobile Market, nutrition volunteers made a salsa made from the onions, tomatoes, and corn given out that day. It was delicious!

If you’re looking for an organization to support, or want to volunteer, City Harvest is worthy of your time and money. I think it’s one of the few organizations where you can see the results for yourself.

Duane TollisonComment