As the weather outside gets colder, and in some Slow Food on Campus chapter locations wetter, there is a lot of chatter about how to continue to actively promote awareness and action about ‘good, clean and fair’ food for everyone.  Below are a couple of suggestions about how to give back not only through the holidays, but during the cold months of the year.

Food Banks
Village Harvest in Silicon Valley uses databases and remote telephone answering systems to track about 700 volunteers, 40 receiving organizations and 1000 fruit inundated homeowners.  Car pools fan out to food pantries to distribute the picked fruit.  A woman in Moscow, Idaho, became a harvester after accidentally growing more lettuce than she needed.  Her 50 or so pickers got 10,000 pounds of fruit last year for her local food bank.

The National Gardening Association predicted about a 10% increase in the number of people growing food and becoming more engaged in community out reach this year.

Check out Feeding America, for information about Food Banks across the United States, including a Food Bank Locator that can help get you in touch with your local organization for volunteering.

Soup Kitchens
The St. Mary’s Food Alliance in Phoenix has a ton of citrus volunteers between January and March picking 1.4 million pounds of oranges and grapefruits from Sun City and Surprise and the food reaches thousands of people in Tempe shelters and on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon.  In L.A. three artists call themselves ‘Fallen Fruit’ have mapped neighborhood fruit trees and sponsored public “fruit jams.”  Another woman, in Berkley, California, drives through the hills helping relieve homeowners pick unwanted apples that end up in cobblers, cider and pancake toppings at the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond, CA.

Also, check out this Soup Kitchens database that has a searchable map that helps you find contact information for you local Soup Kitchen to get your Slow Food on Campus chapter involved.