Where Do Abandoned Baskets Go?

One of the saddest phone calls I get as an area coordinator is from a VSC reporting that someone hasn’t picked up their produce within the pickup window.  Our awesome VSCs make every effort to call and try and reach participants to ensure they receive what they contributed for, but sometimes things happen.  Per the co-op policies unclaimed produce is donated to a local fire station to support the fire fighters there.

Prior to becoming involved in the co-op I didn’t recognize what a great service our fire fighters provide to the community.  I knew they existed and imagined they worked hard but didn’t have any personal experience.

That all changed a year ago when I stood in my front yard and watched a large wild fire crest the hill across the street.  I realized that if left unchecked the whole subdivision right above mine could burn.  If things got bad enough my house would be next.  Thanks to heroic efforts by fire fighters only a couple houses in any of the surrounding neighborhoods were burned.  This despite the fact the fire went right up to many back yards.  From that day on I was extra appreciative of fire fighters.

These last few months I’ve been a co-VSC at site run at the new fire station near my house.  This has given me an opportunity to get to know and appreciate the fire department even more.  They have been so accommodating and friendly about letting us use their station as a pickup site.   There are many such pickup sites at fire stations and we are sure grateful to receive support from so many fire departments.

So while I always prefer to do all I can to get produce in to the hands of the participant who contributed for it, I also have come to see how grateful the fire fighters are for donations they receive from the co-op.  Hopefully it never happens that you are unable to get your basket, but if it does rest assured it is going to support the unsung heroes in your community.

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