For Burwinkel Farms of Hamilton, Ohio the work day starts early picking corn in the fields. The “corn is as high as an elephant’s eye” is the famous lyric from the musical Oklahoma. Karen Burwinkel, the manager of the farm, says they cannot quite confirm this for they have never had an elephant visit.
What Burwinkels can say for certain is they have delicious corn and other yummy fruits and vegetables. Each summer morning, trucks are loaded with food to be taken to its locations across the Cincinnati area.
Burwinkel Farms is a summer tradition, one that has been operating since 1918.
Very quietly too Burwinkels is helping fight hunger in the community. Hunger is a silent, but serious crisis in the Cincinnati area. Feeding America says that 18.5 percent of the county’s population suffers from hunger. Among children the “food insecurity” rate skyrockets to 21.1 percent.
Burwinkels is helping out. For produce not sold, they make sure it is not wasted. Once a week, Burwinkels donates food to the Holy Family Church Food Pantry in Price Hill.
Diana Penick, who manages the pantry, says they have helped 7,170 families in need during the past year. She says, “In the past year we served 20,366 people. Not bad for a small church pantry!” The pantry is part of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank system.
Burwinkels makes these donations during the summer months, which is most critical. Donations to food pantries often drop off during this time period compared to the holiday season. Also, during the summer many children lose access to the federal school lunch and breakfast programs. Summer feeding is available in some locations but has not reached anywhere near the coverage provided during the school year.
Burwinkel Farms makes its donation to Holy Family through its Delhi location on Sundays. This has been ongoing since last year. You can even stop by and “purchase” food to be added to the donation each week.
Hunger in America is a growing crisis, with more than 50 million people impacted. Tough economic times are here and the Congress is threatening to reduce the food stamp program (SNAP) which will place even more pressure on already overstretched food banks.
Following Burwinkels example is to waste no food, and do what you can to support hunger relief. That great summer delight of corn is something more than a nutritious food, but also brings hope to those in need.
originally published at Cincinnati.com.