Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
Farming 4 Hunger directly serves the Southern Maryland community and the rest of the State through the Maryland Food Bank. We feed over 48,000 food insecure fresh grown produce and are responsible for 26% of all the fresh food distributed by the MFB. We also serve inmates in the Southern Maryland Pre-Release facility, providing skills and training to better prepare them for release. We want them skilled, trained, acclimated and ready for success as returning citizens. Lastly, we work with school children from all 5 neighboring counties and have had requests to come to the Farm from Virginia schools as well. We provide age-appropriate activities and life sharing, focusing on early addiction prevention and develop healthy citizens.
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
There are so many, but one of our favorites is Warren Holly. He came to the Farm with 20 and half years in prison for second degree murder. He did not want to work in the fields initially, but when he learned that we were feeding his community, he changed his mind. He decided that when he was released, he would like to become a CDL driver. A couple days after release, with the help of the College of Southern Maryland who provided a 50% scholarship (F4H provided the other 50%), Warren started school. Four days after graduation, Chaney Enterprises hired him as a CDL Driver. Warren drives the Farm often, and blows his horn. He has returned to CSM to speak to at-risk students, helping them see that if he could do it, so could they. He loves to give back to his community. We have other stories such as these. We teach a man to fish. It is very rewarding.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is the need for more funds and skilled volunteers who would be willing to come work with the inmates providing them opportunities to work on their resumes, practice interviewing, learn budgeting. and just how to work a computer. We are meeting these challenges one at a time, but a strong source of recurring donations would be quite helpful.
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
Our next event will be in the Spring at the Blessing of the Farm.
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
People can go to the website and sign up to volunteer, or make a donation. www.farming4hunger.com