November 11, 2002
Hopelink joins Full Circle Farms for potato harvest
by Ben Martinka
Special to the Valley View
In a strong case of local partnership and tapping local food production resources, Hopelink employees and family members recently harvested a potato crop at the Full Circle Farm in the Carnation area, with a portion of the yield donated to Hopelink's food bank in Carnation.
"By offering the labor in exchange for a portion of the crop, we get the fresh vegetables our food banks need, while the farmer gets a helping hand," said Hopelink Food Program Manager Tim Bernthal. "We are extremely thankful that owner Andy Stout and Full Circle Farms included us to take part in such a productive and rewarding event."
About 14 Hopelink employees and their family members worked under a sunny Saturday sky and helped Full Circle Farms harvest 3,000 pounds of organic red potatoes, of which 1,000 pounds were donated to Hopelink for distribution at the Carnation food bank.
The harvest arrangement allowed Hopelink to augment the supply of fresh vegetables at the food bank.
Hopelink commonly has to purchase the fresh produce distributed at its food banks for clients' balanced diets, so arrangements like the special potato harvest are significant.
Bernthal hopes to expand local harvest events such as the one at Full Circle Farms through increased local farmer relationships.
Since 1971, Hopelink (formerly Multi-Service Centers of North & East King County) has served homeless and low-income families and children.
Hopelink services include food, shelter, transitional housing, homelessness prevention, childcare, family development, transportation and adult literacy.
Hopelink's mission is to promote self-sufficiency for all members of the community, helping people make lasting change.