Fresh produce shared monthly at Longmont United Hospital
Three years ago, Antony Pearson, chief medical officer at Longmont United Hospital, met with the team at Longmont Food Rescue for a photo after the hospital made a donation as part of its mission to ensure local food security.
One thing led to another and Pearson found himself in a conversation about his garden.
“I would love to donate veggies and there are many staff members that have veggies,” he told the Longmont Food Rescue team.
This conversation led to a new tradition in which LUH and Longmont Food Rescue began a monthly drive-thru event between July and September.
LUH, Longmont Food Rescue and Uproot Colorado — which redistributes surplus produce while supporting local farmers — joined forces on July 21 for the first event of the year.
Volunteers stuffed bags with beans, greens and other seasonal vegetables to hand out to over 30 cars that drove through LUH’s parking lot.
“LUH is proud to help our local community and serve those in need,” Pearson said via email.
Longmont Food Rescue saw a 15% increase in people seeking its services between 2021-2022.
“We’ve seen this trend continue this year,” Naomi Curland, executive director of Longmont Food Rescue stated. “With the end of COVID emergency SNAP benefits this past February and food prices rising over recent years alongside inflation, even more Longmont community members are facing food insecurity.”
It is through events like these that Longmont Food Rescue is able to provide high-quality produce that not only helps with families’ budgets but provides them with much-needed nutrition, Curland said.
In addition to the drive-thru events, a Longmont Community Fridge is located on the LUH campus. The fridge program allows 24/7 access to free food throughout Longmont. Currently, there are three fridge locations:
- Agape Safe Haven Fridge, 10656 Park Ridge Ave. on the front porch.
- Heart of Longmont Fridge, 350 11th Ave. on the northwest corner of the building.
- Longmont United Hospital Fridge, 1950 Mountain View Ave. in between the hospital’s main entrance and the emergency entrance.
“Over the past year, they have grown in popularity as these sites become food hubs, and we hope to continue to expand to more sites this year. The fridges encourage community members to “take what you need, leave what you can” – and we often see folks stock the fridges with their own donations to help feed their neighbors. They are like little free libraries but for food, and all are welcome,” Curland said.
The next LUH drive-thru event will take place on Aug. 18 from 5-7 p.m.
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