Welcoming Our New Program Managers!

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2019 UMass Student Farm crew in the field.

Welcome Allison Driscoll and Nick Ferlazzo, our new program managers for the 2019 season! They are both also on the 2019 UMass Student Farm crew. They will be working this summer and fall to redirect excess food grown on the Student Farm to our community partners Not Bread Alone and the Amherst Survival Center. They will also be growing nearly half an acre of flowers for donation, working to coordinate community events around local food insecurity, and working with the Student Food Pantry and UMass Permaculture to increase food access on campus. We are so blessed to have these two dedicated, hard-working, inspiring students on board! Welcome to the team, Allison and Nick!

IMG_0561Allison Driscoll is a Senior majoring in Sustainable Food and Farming at UMass. Allison was born and raised in Northampton, MA and loved growing up in the vibrant Pioneer Valley community. Being surrounded by local farms, they were drawn to pursue an education in sustainable farming. They discovered their passion for food justice while running a chapter of a club called Artists Striving to End Poverty in high school. This summer, Allison will be organizing Food Justice community events for UMass and Amherst, working with our community partners Not Bread Alone and The Amherst Survival Center, and working on the UMass Student Farm crew. They are eager to strengthen the connections between Food for All, the Student Farm, and the UMass and Amherst communities to create a united front against food insecurity.

60855541_2441179245913338_5980634323504594944_oNick Ferlazzo is a senior in the Sustainable Food and Farming major at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and is a part of the Student Farm and the Student Farm Food Access Initiative. Before attending UMass, Nick worked on organic farms in Pioneer Valley as a crew member and harvest manager. He has also had experience implementing permaculture and grey water design strategies on production properties in Arizona. Nick is excited to be a part of the donation delivery process this summer and to build our relationships with local food relief organizations.

 

 

 

 

Food For All’s Sarah Berquist Receives Major Award for Community Engagement

Sustainable food Instructor Sarah Berquist and student assistant Kayleigh Boucher at the  Faculty Honors Dinner April 29, 2019.

Sarah Berquist, faculty support for the Food For All Program, with 2018 F4A Manager Kayleigh Boucher, at the Faculty Honors Dinner to receive her award in April.

Congratulations to Sarah Berquist, faculty support for the Food For All Program, for receiving the UMass Distinguished Community Engagement Award for Teaching on April 29, 2019. We are so excited to honor Sarah’s dedication to our community and to food justice! She received this award for the work that she has done with CHD’s Not Bread Alone, the Amherst Survival Center, and the School Garden Program at Amherst Regional Public Schools. 

Sarah has been working with the School Garden Program at Amherst Regional Public Schools for years to mentor students who design and execute garden-based lessons for elementary students. Additionally, as the co-founder and faculty support for the Food For All Program, she has been working with local relief organizations Not Bread Alone and the Amherst Survival Center to increase food access in our community.

For the past five years, Food For All has donated thousands of pounds of organic, nutritious, fresh produce, herbs, and flowers to these local organizations. In collaboration with the UMass Student Farm, over 10,000 lbs of produce was recovered and redistributed to Not Bread alone, the Amherst Survival Center, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in 2018!  

Not Bread Alone (NBA) is a community meal program that provides fresh, nutritious, free meals with local ingredients three days a week. They provide free, homemade, hot meals every Saturday and Sunday at 12 pm and every Wednesday at 4pm. Donated groceries are distributed every Saturday at 12:45 pm. They also have counselors on site to help guests resolve issues such as housing, food stamp applications, health insurance, and employment. Not Bread Alone is located in the lower level of the First Congregational Church (165 Main St., Amherst, MA). Everyone is welcome to help cook, clean, or just enjoy the warm, delicious food!

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Bob Stover of Not Bread Alone, pictured right, holding a bunch of beets and a Not Bread Alone volunteer, pictured left, with flower bouquets she made.

For the past five years, Sarah has been working with the help of UMass students to grow produce, herbs, and flowers for Not Bread Alone to help them increase the amount of local, organic, and fresh ingredients they can offer in their weekly meals. This collaboration and work would not be possible without the steadfast dedication of Bob Stover (Not Bread Alone’s Program Supervisor), Connie Rust (Not Bread Alone’s kitchen leader), and all of the dedicated community members and volunteers that work in the kitchens of Not Bread Alone every week.  

Not Bread Alone depends on volunteers and donations to do this important work of supporting each other in our community. Please consider donating to Not Bread Alone if you have the means here. Or purchase the Not Bread Alone Cookbook for almost 150 pages of delicious recipes, photography, and poetry here!

To volunteer or donate to Not Bread Alone visit their website:

https://chd.org/adult-services/community-based-programs/bread-alone/help/

For more information about Sarah’s award, visit this article:
https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/sustainable-food-instructor-sarah-berquist