A decades-long Winnipeg Airports Authority initiative of helping fill local food banks with fresh vegetables is marking a significant milestone.
On Tuesday, more than 5,000 pounds of potatoes, beets, carrots, and onions were pulled from the Harvest Garden, located at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, in support of Harvest Manitoba. Since the Harvest Garden started in 1997, WAA has donated 72,270 pounds of vegetables – enough food to help provide a meal to 100,000 families in need.
“Our commitment to service doesn’t stop at the doors to the airport terminal,” said Tyler MacAfee, WAA Vice President of External Affairs. “The people who receive the vegetables from our Harvest Garden are our neighbours, colleagues, and friends. We’re proud to support them and help make a difference in any way we can in the communities we live and work.”
The idea of a vegetable garden on the airport campus to help fight hunger in the community was planted the same year WAA took over the operation and management of YWG. Over the past quarter of a century, the Harvest Garden has grown from a few rows in size to 4,000 square feet large. Employees from nearly every department across the organization pitch in each summer to help seed, weed, and harvest the garden.
“This twenty-five-year partnership between Winnipeg Airports Authority and Harvest Manitoba speaks to the commitment of WAA and their team to providing healthy food to members of our community,” said Vince Barletta, Harvest Manitoba CEO. “We are so grateful for the generous support of WAA.”
Through its Harvest Community Food Network, Harvest Manitoba distributes the vegetables grown in the Harvest Garden to 325 food banks and agencies across the province.