Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) has provided social services for low-income people in Walla Walla since 1966. Among many of the services BMAC provides to the community, food distribution is a large and important piece. In the past year, the BMAC Food Warehouse distributed over 1 million pounds of food to over ten food banks, shelters and other programs in three different counties altogether supporting over 85,000 people. In 2011, BMAC brought an AmeriCorps*VISTA member on board to help secure more fresh produce for food banks and create a new program called Walla Walla Community Harvest.
Walla Walla Community Harvest (WWCH) is a gleaning program that focuses on gathering fresh produce from fields and orchards and distributing it to food banks around the valley. This gleaning program was designed by the 2011-12 VISTA member and built upon by the 2012-13 VISTA in response to the need BMAC saw in the community to get more fresh produce into area food banks. WWCH relies on donations from farmers and residents and a strong base of volunteers to help harvest the excess produce. Since the Walla Walla Valley is agriculturally rich, WWCH has been able to keep gleans within a 30-minute radius. WWCH is fortunate to have use of the BMAC Food Warehouse which is central to storing and distributing food to several food pantries/programs throughout three counties.
Distribution of seeds and plant starts for Plant-A-Row for the Hungry.
A food bank garden plot in a community garden.
Gleaning from orchards, farms, gardens, cull bins and the Farmer’s Market.
Nutrition Education with recipe cards and cooking classes.