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

 

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