When we choose to expand the produce distribution project into Clinton N.J. it was due to feedback that there was a growing need within that community. Although the true numbers were not documented because of the status of many of the people, it became apparent quickly that there was a true need for excess to fresh produce in the community. The programs success truly comes from the communication circle within the target population.
When the program was launched (during the foul weather months) 3 people came to take advantage of the service. As the time went on and the program was consistent we grew to serving 13 individuals on average weekly. Our current unduplicated list of participants is over 25 individuals; however after our most recent survey it was determined that from the 25 unduplicated participants there were over 75 more individuals that were part of the unduplicated participants’ households. The continued growth of this program is not due to strategic marketing but from word of mouth amongst the participants.
An additional success or surprise that came of this project was the awareness of how little information was being received by our participants from local non-profits and county agencies which this particular population could truly benefit form – I.e. – dental care, health services, childcare, and access to affordable/ free clothing. From the produce distribution site has grown a communication hub for community services. Many of the local agencies and or county services now utilize this program as a location or site for communication distribution and the participants have come to know it as a multifunctional site.