From the Farmers…
Our first CSA pickup here at the farm last Tuesday went off without a hitch--Little did we know what was in store for our first run to Long Island City and Flatbush Brooklyn on Wednesday. Our partner in the city Just Food was waiting for our truck at our first drop, and therefore went through this ordeal with us. Below is a letter sent out to board members of Just Food describing what happened…..
Wednesday of this week was the first day of distribution for The Farm at Millers Crossing. They loaded a truck with produce for 2 CSA sites and 2 Local Produce Link sites (our farm to food pantry partners). There were literally thousands of pounds of produce in the truck...and then, the truck broke down.
Abby [the Local Produce Link coordinator] went to Long Island City so that she could be there to greet the truck for the Local Produce Link drop-off. When they got the news, they began to relay the message to the food pantries and CSAs to let them know about the delays. Three hours after getting the truck to the garage they learned that the garage didn't have the right part and couldn't fix the truck that day.
Chris Cashen, the farmer, refused to allow the broken vehicle to stop him from delivering the produce - he didn't want the food to go to waste and he didn't wanted the families who were counting on him to be disappointed. He rented a truck, they moved all the boxes, and hours later, they were back on the road to NYC.
Here's the amazing part. The pantries and their volunteer staff hung in there. They stayed open late to receive the produce, they worked late to transport the produce from one pantry to another, they made sure that none of the food would be rotten or would go to waste. These are outstanding and dedicated individuals who serve their community every week, and this past Wednesday many of them worked long past 9pm to make this program work.
Abby rode with the truck to their final drop-off: a CSA in Brooklyn. Long past the end of their official distribution time, the members had stayed anyway. They greeted the truck as they arrived. Someone shouted "form a chain" and they helped these weary folks unload their truck - down to the very last vegetable.
This is why we do what we do. Our work is not just about building a food system, it's about building a community, it's about forging relationships in which people go out of their way for each other. I hope I've told this story well enough for you to see why I'm so deeply moved by it. I feel like this is the proof that that better world we're working toward is in fact coming to life.
In the heat of the moment, we only thought about all of our hard work being lost on a broken down truck. We were struggling with managing details of the crisis and a grumpy mechanic. After reading this note from Just Food, we were completely moved by the third party observation of what ultimately happened that day, and what the folks in the city had contributed to save the day.
While we do not hope for another harrowing story like this for awhile, we are thankful for the light it shed upon all of you who help us make this system of food distribution possible.
Thank you, Katie & Chris