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A Letter from Chip – What’s your definition of a “bunch” of good news?

March 2020

Dear Friends,

When you think of the words “bunch” or “bunches,” what definitions come to mind? They are frequently used words, but what do they mean as they relate to produce? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a “bunch” is a number of things of the same kind. The USDA uses the term “bunches” to describe specific units or amounts of several produce types, such as beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, and so on. All of those bunches vary greatly in terms of their size and therefore have different weights depending on the variety.

I always thought of the word “bunches” as described above until just recently, when one of the people we serve who is faced with food insecurity and hunger gave new meaning to this common term for me. To give you some background, last year America’s Grow-a-Row partnered with the Center for Nutrition and Diabetes Management at Hunterdon Healthcare to provide free fresh produce in support of the newly created Produce Prescription Program. This pilot program offered produce throughout the season to a portion of the local diabetes population as a way to improve their health and at the same time reduce their current challenges from a food insecurity standpoint. With the preliminary results in, the program has shown early signs of success as over 60% of the participants experienced a reduction in their A1C (blood sugar) levels and almost 40% saw a drop in their weight.

So where does the term “bunches” come into play? Well, the person I mentioned earlier is one of the participants in the Produce Prescription Program. This individual was so grateful for our free fresh produce that she made a poster-sized card to thank us a whole “bunch” in a very creative way:  

Thank You Grow-a-Row!

Bringing fresh produce to families in need!

Unselfish volunteers who plant, nurture, pick and deliver!

New produce to try every week!

Cultivating delicious fruits and vegetables on your farm!

Heart-felt caring people!

Every bag filled each week!

Supporting the Nutrition and Diabetes Produce Prescription Program!

This message certainly brought a smile to my face, and it reminded me once again that so many people came together to help not only this individual but the 65,000 other people who are positively impacted by America’s Grow-a-Row each year. Last year alone over 9,000 great volunteers and supporters such as you made improved health and wellness possible for so many, and seeing such a positive response from someone we were able to help out…well, if you ask me, that’s a bunch of good news!

Thank you all and see you in the fields!

Chip

President & Founder

 

View the 2019 Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation Community Spirit Honoree video, recognizing America’s Grow-a-Row!

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