2013-05-02 / Letters to the Editor

Thanks to state rep for $500 legislative grant

I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank Deb Ruggiero, the state representative for Jamestown and Middletown, for her continued support for the Jamestown Community Farm.

Rep. Ruggiero not only volunteers her time at the farm, but she recently took steps to secure a legislative grant of $500 on behalf of the farm to help purchase seeds for the coming growing season. The farm is an all-volunteer organization supported through individual donations. Our produce is grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides, and the produce is distributed directly from our fields to various local sites designated to feed those in need.

Last year was a banner year for the farm. Vegetable production exceeded previous years by more than 25 percent, as well as increased honey and egg production. The new barn, roof-water cistern and photovoltaic panels far exceeded our expectations in both design and functionality.

The increased production came at a critical juncture for the greater community. According to a 2012 status report on hunger compiled by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Rhode Island ranks highest in New England for food insecurity. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the prevalence of food insecurity in Rhode Island is 15.5 percent. Likewise, the number of Rhode Islanders served at food pantries increased by more than 10 percent last year, and exceeds 66,000 people per month.

As we embark on our 13th year, we hope to continue to provide a consistent supply of food to those in need, as well as increase our volunteer base and build upon the educational programs and sustainable practices that have been central to our mission.

Thanks again to Rep. Ruggiero and the many volunteers who have served the Jamestown Community Farm over the years – your contributions literally grow and support thousands of people facing food insecurity in Newport County and throughout Rhode Island.

If you are interested in becoming involved with the work of the farm this growing season, please contact me at 423-2329, or Bob or Lynda Sutton at 423-0910. All are welcome, no experience necessary.

Deborah Foppert
Community farm

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