GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A few Southern Oregon students are trading in their video games for buckets to pick produce.
The students are volunteering at Raptor Creek Farm. It’s a garden where the Josephine County Food Bank uses to distribute food to thousands of people in need.
But now with school starting up, the food bank is losing many of its volunteers like Quentin Northcross. He’s helped at the farm since the garden opened three years ago.
“We really wanted to start making an impact around the community and putting in volunteer hours where we could. It was just something I really wanted to get back to and something that actually brought me a lot of contentment,” explained Northcross.
Northcross tried to get his classmates to help and his influence reached a few students like Oliva Huber.
“I didn’t have a job so I figured, I may as well do something good this summer. It has been pretty hot and dusty, love coming home caked in mud and dirt but it’s been really nice,” said Huber.
The several hours of harvesting the students put in will go a long way.
“We serve about 12 thousand people a month right now, which works out to be about 4 thousand families. And at the peak of the recession, we’ve been feeding about 13,500 people at a given month,” said event coordinator, Sam Engel.
The garden is 3.5 acres, the biggest its ever been. All of the harvesting is done completely by volunteers. As students trade in their buckets from harvesting produce for school books, they’re asking the community to pick up where they’ve left off.
“I would tell people to definitely come out at least once and give it a try. It’s a lot of fun and like as we mentioned earlier, we always need help,” said Huber.
If you would like to volunteer, click here for more information or contact the food bank at: (541) 479-5556