The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is talking turkey these days. As we plan our celebrations, many of us also think of sharing with our neighbors who are having a hard time. Rather than bringing a real turkey to the Food Bank, consider purchasing $10 or $15 gift cards at grocery stores to give them to your local food pantry. Or donate online. Find a list of the most-needed nonperishable items on their website.
Actually, there is a great need all year, but if you haven't contributed to the food bank this year, now is a good time. Money is the best way to donate now, but did you know how much fresh food is donated to the Food Bank in the growing season? You can read about the community farms and how to volunteer at the RI Community Food Bank's website. Next year, you can join the many Rhode Islanders who work on community farms and gardens that grow food to donate to the Food Bank.
And speaking of farms and farmers....
The RI Department of Environmental Management has announced winter farmers markets in eight locations throughout the state, and I am glad to say that they are all mixed into What Grows On in Rhode Island, with the classes, hikes, walks, etc., that dozens of groups of Rhode Islanders organize and invite us to enjoy.
You'll find winter markets on Tuesdays as well as weekends, in Richmond, South Kingstown, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Bristol,and Middletown.
Farmers from out of state can be found at the markets, but most farmers are from some of the 1240+ RI farms, which are mostly owned by families and which cover 68,000 acres. Farming accounts for $170 million of our state's economy.
Some farm stands are also still open. All are great places for picking up fresh vegetables for next week's Thanksgiving feasts.