JK Community Farm Increases Volunteers for Phase 3
STERLING, Va. – With Phase 3 of Virginia’s reopening plan, JK Community Farm (Farm), an 150-acre farm in Purcellville, Virginia that grows crops and livestock and donates them to nonprofits to alleviate hunger, will be allowing 40 volunteers at a time to help harvest. Despite the pandemic and smaller volunteer groups, the nation’s largest nonprofit community farm is still on target to reach its 2020 harvest goals of donating 100 percent of its 135,000 pounds of fresh produce as well as protein.
“We are committed to creating a safe environment for our volunteers while also meeting the large and surging need for food in our community. That’s why we are conservatively increasing the number of volunteers for each shift and continuing to have more shifts so we can still meet our harvest goals,” explained Samantha Kuhn, Executive Director, JK Community Farm.
In March, the Farm reduced its volunteer force to 10 people a shift to comply with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines. By adding more volunteer shifts, JK Community Farm has still been able to donate 35,275 pounds of healthy, locally grown produce and protein since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, including lettuce, arugula, kale, broccoli, radishes, onions, swiss chard, spinach, and soon cabbage, squash and zucchini.
To continue to meet its goals, the Farm is seeking community members and corporations to fill 11,000 volunteer hours—in shifts of 40—by summer’s end to plant and harvest. In addition to volunteer support, the Farm relies on donations. Every $35 donation enables the Farm to grow an additional two weeks of food for a person in need.
JK Community Farm, a 501(c)3 nonprofit started in 2018 with the support of JK Moving Services, seeks to have a lasting and healthy impact on struggling families within the Washington, DC metro region by growing and donating chemical free, healthy produce and protein to those struggling with food insecurity. This year’s harvest goal of 135,000 pounds will provide the equivalent of 108,000 meals to those in need.
The Farm distributes its food through nonprofit partners: Loudoun Hunger Relief, Food for Others and Arlington Food Assistance Center. In addition to the 150 acres, the Farm has two high tunnels for season extension and 12 biointensive raised beds. The Farm is also starting an herb program, focusing on food and nutrition education programs, and transforming its barn into an education center, food prep and teaching kitchen. www.jkcommunityfarm.org.