Our partnership with Port Townsend Food Bank officially began in 2017. Since then, our participants have filled numerous volunteer positions for the organization. In 2018, we worked in collaboration to develop the Dehydrated Apples Program, a dual purpose activity that both reduces food waste and provides our clients with an opportunity to practice dexterity, schedule planning, safe food handling skills, working as a team and more.
Leftover or “ugly” apples and/or other fresh fruit are collected and set aside for our volunteers to process and package on a weekly basis. Our volunteer responsibilities include:
- ZPrepping a workspace for proper food handling
- ZPracticing individual safe food handling skills
- ZSetting up equipment: apple slicing tools, dehydrator and vacuum sealer
- ZSetting up the food dehydrator for consistent output
- ZDividing tasks and setting up individual workspaces
- ZCutting, slicing and arranging apples for dehydration
- ZPackaging dehydrated apple slices into vacuum sealed pouches
- ZDelivering the finished goods to the Food Bank for the next week’s pickup
This especially fruitful collaboration has provided our volunteers the opportunity to build relationships, connect and contribute to their local community. How sweet it is!