Community Harvest promotes its visibility in the community by engaging in as many outreach and marketing opportunities as possible. The majority of the program’s marketing activities include tabling at farmers markets, service fairs, and other community events, as well as presenting to service and school groups. Every year, fliers are posted in public locations around the valley. Community Harvest accepts all interviews with local media and sends out press releases for special events.
Community Harvest changed host sites earlier this year and one of the first actions was to reach out to existing volunteers and donors with a newsletter explaining the transition. Being hosted at a non-profit that provides a variety of services to the community allows Community Harvest to benefit from an already established base of supporters. Community Harvest reached out to these supporters via introductory articles in email and print newsletters. The food bank in Leavenworth, the Community Cupboard, is also a thrift store thus allowing for greater interaction with the public. Distributing produce at that food bank, helped to raise awareness about the program among the people who came to shop and donate to the thrift store.
Another way Community Harvest promotes its visibility is by organizing special events with themes on awareness of hunger and food security issues such as a Food Justice walk, a SNAP challenge, and a screening 1the movie A Place at the Table.
Additionally, the gleaning coordinator makes an effort to set up information tables, volunteer at, and/or attend hunger and food related events, including community discussions of world and local hunger, a farming and sustainability tour, agricultural workshops and conferences, film screenings and lectures. By becoming a familiar face and engaging in conversations with community members interested in food and farming, the gleaning project continues to spread through word of mouth.
Community Harvest is a project of Upper Valley MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity). UV MEND is a human services non-profit committed to meeting community needs of hunger, housing, and healthcare in the Cascade School District. MEND has six main programs including the Community Cupboard, a food bank and thrift store. Community Harvest began as a program of Community Farm Connection in Wenatchee in 2011. In 2014, Community Harvest worked to expand connections in Leavenworth and the Upper Valley area, while maintaining previously established programs down valley as well.