Monday, March 29, 2010

Press Connects : CHOW competes for free orchard of fruit trees

By William Moyer • • March 28, 2010, 8:20 pm

CHOW is in first place by mere votes in a nationwide contest to win a free orchard of fruit trees that would eventually be harvested to provide fresh food to recipients of the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse of the Broome County Council of Churches.

Late Sunday night, CHOW was four votes ahead of the Parks and Recreation Department in Bloomington, Ind., -- with the tally changing almost by the minute -- in the online "Communities Take Root" contest to win the trees from Edy's Fruit Bars and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.

CHOW would like to plant the trees on land in the Town of Conklin where the pantry wants to start a food farm this summer to grow fruits and vegetables, said Edward Blaine, program director.

Conklin officials approved the farm on land leveled of housing after the June 2006 flood. Under terms of federal buyouts, the land cannot be redeveloped with housing or other buildings.

"We have focused on providing more fresh produce to our pantries and soup kitchens," said Blaine. "We are starting a CHOW Farm Project to grown our own fresh produce."

The online voting ends April 30. CHOW must finish among the top five communities to win a fruit orchard either in the current vote tally or monthly tallies through August. CHOW was one of 100 communities across the country selected by Edy's to compete for the free fruit orchards.

The number of free fruit trees to be provided to each winning community wasn't listed on the contest's Web page.CHOW provides food to 30 pantries located in churches throughout Broome County, as well as supplying various ingredients for 35 soup kitchens and community dinners.

Published in the Press & Sun newspaper 3-29-10

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