Centerline Helps Tackle Hunger Relief with IFFS
Jun 24, 2016
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (IFFS) is not only about stopping hunger in its tracks in our area, but also attempting to provide lower income individuals with new job skills and the ability to grow their own food. One Centerliner who was truly impressed with this cause and what IFFS is trying to accomplish on a regular basis was Susan Cokas, one of our writers.
“They are a unique hunger relief organization because they offer perishable produce, which is a fresh and healthier option for lower income people in need,” she said. “Most food banks are more limited to non-perishable foods. There were a few things that impressed me the most about Interfaith Food Shuttle; one was that they donate land to refugees so that they are able to grow their own types of fruits and vegetables. Specifically from Myanmar, they can come and grow the types of produce that they’re comfortable with instead of the American produce that they aren’t used to.”
Another aspect of the way things work at Interfaith Farm that Cokas appreciated is that they don’t use pesticides or any chemicals to treat their crops.
“We had to get in there and manually weed their kale patch since they don’t use any chemical weed killers. We filled up a whole wheelbarrow with weeds and we still didn’t get it all done. It’s a lot harder to farm without those chemicals, but it’s ultimately better quality and much healthier.”
There is also something to be said about the amount of work that got done due to the volunteer work our Centerliners did, since on a day-to-day basis the farm only has three full-time employees.
“They heavily rely on volunteers. They told us that the work that the Centerliners got done in one day would normally take them three days to do on their own. Without volunteers it would be impossible to get things done efficiently, so it’s really important to them to keep volunteers coming in as often as possible.”
Going off of the job skills that IFFS provides, Cokas further explained why she found it to be so helpful for the people in the community that directly benefit from this organization.
“One success story they told us about was an immigrant worker who they taught to farm and cook, and he has now been employed for six years at a nice restaurant in Raleigh.”
It’s clear that IFFS is having a very positive effect on many individuals in and around the Triangle, and Cokas was truly happy to contribute.
“It was hot and it was hard work, but it was really rewarding. I would definitely go back and volunteer again.”
To learn more about the IFFS mission and get involved, check out how volunteer here.
Centerliners Ernesto, Susan, Michael, Ocean, Jennifer and Amanda at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Farm – thanks for the picture, Ocean!