"This program has given us the opportunity to get clean healthy food to people who need it"

Fresh produce has always been rare in traditional food bank donation streams, so any pantry looking to distribute more fruits and vegetables must purchase the bulk of them. While ShareNet purchases a lot of produce, they also benefit from donations from local small farms and home growers who make it a point to share.

One of the farms helping ShareNet and other food programs is Hansville’s Kitsap Farms. When Angie Cordiano and Harold Hogan purchased their property in 2013, they began talking about how to utilize their 2.5 acres for farming. Hogan grew up on a cattle farm in Texas, but Cordiano had grown up in New York City, where she didn’t think much about where her food came from.

Cordiano became sensitized to the issue of hunger through foster parenting. Hearing kids talk about stealing and dumpster diving in order to eat was hard to hear. She recalls serving a 16-year-old a steak, and the first thing he did was cut a piece for his sister. When he was told it was all for him, “He looked like he won the Lotto,” Cordiano said.

Knowing they did not have enough land for a traditional farm, they began researching alternative methods and, in 2016, embarked on aquaponics, starting Kitsap Farms. Their mission is to “provide healthy, locally grown produce and food-grade fish food to our community using sustainable farming practices,” Cordiano said.

Read more at bainbridgereview.com

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