"Physical labor won't hurt you.
Since graduating to management,
I still pick vegetables with the crew
and get my good shoes dirty in the
Christy Porter has given literally millions of pounds of fresh, local produce to the some of the neediest citizens in the Golden State. A former photojournalist and daughter of a Kentucky coal miner, Christy founded Hidden Harvest in 2001 with very limited resources. This unique program employs the working poor (at above prevailing farm wage) to glean or “rescue” the produce left in farmers’ fields after their harvesting is complete. Christy and Hidden Harvest also “rescue” hundreds of tons of produce each year from area packing houses. Christy’s hidden harvest is the nearly 30% of field crops that go unpicked due to fluctuating market price or cosmetic imperfections.
To date (June 2010), Hidden Harvest has donated free of charge, including refrigerated delivery, over 8 million pounds of fresh local produce and now serves over 44,000 low income people each month via their 60+ client agencies that serve the poor and hungry. Additionally, more than $40,000 in wages each year goes back into the pockets of the working poor for their harvest labor. Hidden Harvest also operates twelve “Senior Mini Markets” each month within low income senior housing complexes. These farmer’s market style produce displays allow poor and fixed income seniors to “shop” for free for some of the freshest vegetables and fruits in the Coachella Valley. In 2011, Hidden Harvest will celebrate their tenth anniversary and will have “rescued” over ten million pounds of produce that would otherwise have gone to waste and given it a second life on the plates of the hungry in eastern Riverside County and beyond.
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