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Bread Riot provides local vegetables for Meals on Wheels participants

By Rose Jones
Meals on Wheels Rowan

Carol Corken, coordinator for The Bread Riot, contacted Meals on Wheels to find out if there were any opportunities for collaboration during the summer harvest season.

The mission of The Bread Riot is to cultivate a thriving local economy by facilitating a supply of locally produced food, using sustainable farming practices and focusing on whole-life issues, education and environmental concerns.

Corken reached out to Cindy Fink, executive director, and Sandy Combs, program director for Meals on Wheels Rowan. Fink immediately replied, “Yes, what a great idea, our participants would love receiving local produce.”

Combs was also in favor of the idea, but she cautioned, “we have to be mindful of the types of vegetables that we send because many of our participants have dental issues and they can’t enjoy foods like carrots or celery, foods that require a lot of preparation or that are difficult to chew.”

After a brief discussion, Corken and Combs determined that the first delivery to participants would include tomatoes and cucumbers.

Corken delivered tomatoes and cucumbers during the second week of June and the Meals on Wheels staff packaged the vegetables for participants in East Rowan, Spencer, Gold Hill, Cleveland, Mt. Ulla, Faith, Bostian Heights and a few participants in Salisbury. The second delivery of tomatoes and cucumbers from The Bread Riot arrived this week, and individual packages were delivered with meals in China Grove, Enochville, Lakewood and East Kannapolis.

After the first delivery, several participants called the Meals on Wheels office to express their appreciation. One participant exclaimed, “I can’t wait to have my first fresh tomato sandwich of the season.” Volunteers returned after delivering meals to report that many of the participants were thrilled with the small bag of fresh, local vegetables.

Combs explained, “Many of our homebound seniors and disabled citizens do not have the mobility or energy to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. Others do not have caregivers that come in during the day to assist them. A majority of our participants do not drive or have the opportunity to get to local food banks or markets. The Bread Riot gives us the opportunity to send small packages of fresh, locally grown vegetables with the volunteer who will deliver the meal.”

Fink added, “We enjoy working with Carol Corken and the volunteers at The Bread Riot. Collaboration is the key to adding value to so many programs. But for homebound seniors, who may not get to shop at the local farmer’s market or their neighborhood produce stand, collaborating with The Bread Riot brings fresh local vegetables and joy to our participants.”

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