Farm to Food Bank


School years were devised back when students had to work on family farms. Now, that means a mismatch between the growing season and school dining halls.

That’s good news for the Rhode Island Food Bank and Peace Dale, R.I.’s Jonnycake Center.

On the menu this summer: cantaloupe, grown by Environment and Life Sciences students and researchers trying to combat its deadly foe, the cucumber beetle. Other trials mean sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, butternut squash, parsnips, potatoes and watermelons. Associate Professor Rebecca Brown guesses they’ll send eight tons to the Food Bank—that partnership has been going for almost ten years—and ten bushels a week to Jonnycake. “A lot of the more perishable stuff goes to Jonnycake,” Brown says, “and they distribute the veggies to clients within hours.”

—Pippa Jack