Fall has officially arrived! And with it, Food Lifeline’s annual crop of squash!
Since 2011 Father Jim Eichner, of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross, has been planting acreage of squash with the sole intention of donating it to food banks- and aptly named it the Food Bank Farm.
This year, he has planted 10 acres of a variety of squashes and the first harvest was just unloaded at the Hunger Solution Center. Father Eichner recruits over 200 volunteers to help harvest and pack the squash, which grow in wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Father Eichner has a rich knowledge of all the squash varietals and a history of farming. After volunteering once with a church’s farm project, he had the idea to plant a crop and donate the whole yield to food banks. In this way, those who are hungry in Western Washington have access to a nutritious crop grown especially with them in mind.
It has been a beautiful thing to watch his passion turn into such a great product for our agencies and clients. In the inaugural year, Father Eichner was able to donate 3,750 pounds of food. Last year that harvest jumped to 111,440 pounds.
But what do I do with a squash?!
I’m glad you asked! Here are just a few ideas to turn the beautiful squash from a table decoration to a delicious meal:
We hope these recipes inspire you to cook up some delicious, nutritious winter squash.
Please see here for more information about Father Eichner and the Food Bank Farm, including ways you can support the mission there, or be inspired to take on a similar project!