— By BRIAN SMITH
Getting people to eat fresh fruits and vegetables is being made a little easier with the help of two local groups.
Weatherford Rotarians are hosting a Food Hub where the general public can receive a bag of approximately 15 fruits and veggies for just $5 every second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m until sold out at the Weatherford Public Library, 1014 Charles St.
Rotary spokesperson Kay Huse said Weatherford Christian School has a similar event the fourth Saturday of every month at the same time and location.
Huse said for the months of November and December the event is being held the Saturday before Thanksgiving and Christmas (Nov. 23 and Dec. 21) to encourage the public to have a healthy holiday season.
“The mission of the program is for the public to have access to have healthy products at a nominal cost,” Huse said. “This is a wonderful program that allows the public to eat good and healthy food during the holidays.”
Huse said the hub is a service project for the Rotary, which does not make a cent on the project and in some cases, loses money.
“We sometimes have to make up a deficit depending on how much we get,” Huse said. “We usually pass the hat amongst those who are working, though.”
The State of Texas and Texas Health Resources work together on a grant to provide produce at the discounted cost. Rotary members have been working on the project for about three months, Huse said.
Crates and boxes of produce are provided from a vendor with Rotary and WCS volunteers taking the items and filling reusable bags with seasonal items such as apples, onions and more which are weighed out to ensure everyone gets about the same amount of items.
Huse said because of the no plastic policy, the bags are as appreciated as much as the produce. Walmart and other vendors provide the bags being used for the produce.
A planned event in October had to be cancelled due to a vendor not showing up, which left Rotarians “holding the bag.” The problem has been worked out and Huse assures there will be produce for those who come early on both dates, as the monthly event is a first-come, first-served basis.
WCS Director of Development Leslie Chalmers said the school is very service oriented, partnering with about 25 service organizations and groups throughout the world. The school’s student council, with help from parents and staff, works the hub every fourth Saturday with the work serving a two-fold purpose.
Chalmers said any left over bags from the Food Hub sales are purchased by parents and donated back to the school’s Meals on Wheels route every Friday to ensure everyone gets enough to eat.
She said the school’s secondary campus is working toward developing a community garden. It’s considered in the preliminary stages of a five-year plan to teach seventh and eighth graders how precious food is. Once the garden is constructed, the students will decide what vegetables go where and are considering allowing the public to have their own space in the area to grow their own vegetables.
“They are all gifts from God,” Chalmers said.