May 20, 2020
Organization donates nearly 400 pounds of produce to nonprofits during Shelter-at-Home
Sunflower Hill announced today that it has donated nearly 400 pounds of fresh, organic produce to local nonprofits since the Shelter-at-Home order took effect in mid-March, 2020. As a result of the Covid-19 Shelter-at-Home Order, the organization has temporarily closed its Garden to volunteers and program participants who typically work alongside staff to maintain and harvest produce for donation. Despite the closure, staff has continued to harvest produce for donation to local nonprofits such as, Culinary Angels, Tri-Valley Haven, and most recently Shepherd’s Gate.
“Our partnership with Sunflower Hill helps us in our mission to provide nutritious foods and teach for our women and children how to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Jill Gandara, Volunteer Relations at Shepherd’s Gate. Located in Livermore, Shepherd’s Gate offers a residential program for women and children escaping cycles of addiction, homelessness and abuse. “It is fun to see the expressions on the kids’ faces as the produce is taken out of the crates. Each week there is an excitement to see what has been harvested, what new fruits and veggies we can introduce to our kids and how the produce can be utilized in our family style meals.”
As a longtime produce donation recipient, Culinary Angels was thrilled to announce last week that it had resumed delivering wholesome meals to local residents going through difficult health issues, such as cancer. The organization had temporarily suspended its meal program due to Covid-19 restrictions, and in an effort to continue serving those who benefit from their service, was partnering with Sunflower Hill to instead deliver fresh, organic produce and recipes to their recipients. “Partnering with Sunflower Hill has been fundamental for us to fulfill our mission: to provide healing, nutrient-dense meals and nutrition education to individuals going through a serious health challenge, and their caretakers,” said Lisa McNaney at Culinary Angels. “We believe that in the current times, they can benefit from this more than ever.”
“The Sunflower Hill Garden has always been a space that gives back to the community,” said Edie Nehls, Executive Director at Sunflower Hill. “Whether it be through our programs for adults with developmental disabilities, community events, or through our ongoing produce donations, we’re thankful to be stewards of this land and offer support to our community.”
In addition to organic produce donations, Sunflower Hill recently shifted its programming to online; creating weekday Online Activities programming, which include a wide variety of learning and enrichment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities and the community. Over 40 Online Activity videos have been created and have been viewed over 2,200 times, since the Shelter-at-Home Order. Online Activities are posted on the organization’s website and social media each weekday at noon.
Sunflower Hill is dedicated to creating spaces and places where adults with developmental disabilities live, work, learn and realize their contributing place as part of the greater community. The organization develops residential communities and vocational and life skills programs that are set in a garden space, a restaurant, and soon at its residential community, Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch, for adults with developmental disabilities.