The Freestore Foodbank serves not only families in need, but also families who want to give back to the community as volunteers, such as Tracy and Judy Finn and their two children.

“We regularly involve our children in growing herbs in our deck garden and preparing meals. For being urban children, they love farming. Volunteering at the Giving Fields was a natural extension of that interest and a great way to expand our involvement with Freestore Foodbank as a family.”

The Giving Fields, Freestore Foodbank’s community farm provides farm-to-table produce to northern Kentucky food pantries, ensuring hungry neighbors have access to fresh, nutritious foods. The Giving Fields has two full-time staff, but depends on over 2,000 volunteers each season to plant, tend and harvest the ten acres of gardens and raised beds.

“The first time we went to volunteer for two hours and ended up staying for four! My son got really excited about the tool used to space out the pepper plants. Both of the kids enjoyed the competition – who could plant straighter and faster – as well as the opportunity to meet and interact with other volunteers.”

Each season, volunteers at the Giving Fields begin work with spring planting then continue over the summer tending the 10 acres of crops. As the tomatoes, peppers, beans and berries grow, volunteers harvest the ripe fruits and vegetables for same-day pick up by our partner pantries, giving our hungry neighbors a truly farm-to-table experience. As the season closes in autumn, volunteers are essential to making sure the farm is ready for the winter.

“We live in the city, and it’s wonderful that the Giving Fields is so close. It gives the kids a chance to see a real farm and understand the time and effort it takes to get that pepper. We want them to understand that for all the food we buy at the store, someone somewhere is doing a lot of hard work.”

Last season the Finn Family volunteered at the start of the season. This year they hope to volunteer more regularly and participate in the harvest as well.

“There are so few places where we can volunteer as a family. We are so glad we found opportunities at Freestore Foodbank for us to be together. This is a great way for our children to do something meaningful that helps impact the big mission of fighting hunger.”

Help us kick off the 2018 Giving Fields season by supporting our Help the Giving Fields Grow campaign.