Our Fresh Harvest families thank us most frequently for two things, birthday bags and fresh produce. To hear a child refer to the fruit just loaded into their car as a treat or to see a parent eagerly digging through a Birthday Bag and realizing they now have everything they need to give their kiddo an awesome birthday, that’s what Fresh Harvest is all about.
Birthday Bags… what are they and why do we offer them? Simple, they are a giant bag of fun that our volunteers love putting together every month! Well they are that, but they are also a large colorful gift bag filled with everything a parent needs to make and decorate a cake (including candles), decorate a home for a party and a personalized gift for the child. The answer to why we offer them has changed a bit since we first started. In the beginning it was all about the kids. We really wanted to make it possible for these kids to have a “normal” birthday celebration, just like their friends. But what we quickly realized was how much more this bag meant to the parents. Giving them the ability to give their child a “normal” birthday celebration was a much more powerful gift to them than anything the child would receive.
Why do we spend so much time and money on the fresh produce? Because these kids see a bag of bright red apples or a bunch of yellow bananas with no brown spots and think it’s a treat. It shouldn’t be. It should be a normal part of their diet every day but too often families are forced to choose the less expensive, less healthy option because of the cost. Most middle class families feel the same pressure at the grocery store every week. Now add a job loss, an illness, or some other hardship and your food choices become clear. It’s always the less expensive item. By providing fresh produce to our families it makes them (and us!) feel nourished. And nourished should be normal for everyone in our community.
Who would have thought we’d have kids excited about healthy food and adults empowered by a bag of goodies for a six year old. You’ve all heard it before “it’s the little things that matter”. It’s true and we have the Thank You notes to prove it!
It makes sense that our most appreciated programs are also our most costly. So if you think they are as valuable as we do, please share this message and hit that donate button now. Together we are making a difference for parents and kids in our community!