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VCE service event provides meals to food banks in Northwest Virginia

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Category: impact Video duration: VCE service event provides meals to food banks in Northwest Virginia
Virginia Cooperative Extension, along with community volunteers, made 500 servings of roasted sweet potato and red pepper soup to give out at local food banks. The program called Feeding 500, took place at the Carver Food Enterprise Center in Radian, VA. 200 pounds of sweet potatoes were donated by the Fauquier Education Farm. 
We're at the Carver Center in Rapidan, Virginia. It's a program called Feeding 500, and we are focused today on sweet potatoes. We take a heavy harvest of some kind of produce. So today we have sweet potatoes from the Fauquier Education Farm. Today we're making a roasted sweet potato and red pepper soup. We are trying to make at least 500 servings of soup for our local food banks. We started with 200 pounds of sweet potatoes and these are all of the giant and somewhat funky sweet potatoes that the Fauquier Education Farm grew. So the idea is that these are the sweet potatoes that are going to be most challenging for the food bank clients to use. Is there somebody who would like to do the honors with the blender? This particular project is one that I really believe in because we have some really unique resources in our community. We have some farms who grow and donate food. And then we have some food pantries who have the ability to serve patrons in different ways. So being able to distribute meals that are fully cooked helps us reach populations that might otherwise not be able to use the fresh produce as it comes raw. This is going to Fauquier Fish, the Culpepper Food Closet, Encompass. We are so excited to be a beneficiary of this heavy harvest at Carver Commercial Kitchen. So we know that this is going to go from the hands that have worked today into our freezer and it will be on people's tables. I am really excited about, you know, reducing food waste. I know a lot of these sweet potatoes would go to livestock or they would just go to landfills. I'm very excited that they will now be going to people's bellies instead. This is all fresh, really high quality food that we're given to folks and that gives people a little sense of dignity if they can nourish their bodies in that way. Being able to work with cooperative extension and this great group of volunteers is just this really magical feeling that you know that all of this time and energy that you put into a project is going to go to folks in our community who need it. And some of those people you might even know to know that you can directly affect someone's life in a positive way is just one of the best feelings in the world.