Fresh fruits and vegetables given to families in need
Wareham families in need now have a new resource for getting fresh fruits and vegetables thanks to the efforts of Jowaun Gamble, The Marion Institute, and Sid Wainer & Sons.
Sid Wainer & Sons is a local food distributor which received a grant from the USDA to distribute produce.
In Wareham, the Marion Institute recently partnered with the Gleason Family YMCA which serves as a distribution site, and has now teamed up with Gamble, the founder of Community Youth Empowerment, to hand out 20 pound boxes of fresh produce at the Wareham Boys and Girls Club each Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.
After doing some outreach, Gamble created a list of families in need who were interested in benefiting from the program. Each family registered on Gamble’s list will be able to get one of the boxes of produce for free each week from now until the middle of August.
Although he is currently limited to 35 boxes per week, he said that if more families express a need for the produce, he may be able to get more boxes in the future. For now, other families can be added to a waiting list, if they would like to sign up for the boxes.
Community Youth Empowerment also has a small pantry set up in front of The Boys and Girls Club where people can take and donate non-perishable foods on their own time.
Gamble said he gives priority to families of lower socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as those with senior citizens. Families of three or more people are also given priority.
On July 16, Gamble personally handed the boxes of fruits and vegetables to people in their cars, many of whom were greatly appreciative of his efforts.
“I think it’s great,” one woman said. “It's my first time doing it and I'm very appreciative, it takes a village.”
Another said that she was fighting breast cancer, and that the nutritious food was especially important for her, although without the help of this free program, she would struggle to afford fresh fruits and vegetables.
Gamble’s group, Community Youth Empowerment, focuses on giving young people opportunities to learn important life skills and explore different career paths.
He said that he is looking for a couple young volunteers to help him hand out the boxes of produce over the next few weeks.
To ask about volunteering with Community Youth Empowerment, or to sign up for the waiting list for fresh fruits and vegetables, email Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.