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Introducing the Crop Swap: Provincetown’s Produce Swap Shop

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Provincetown is generous when it comes to addressing hunger and food insecurity in the community. There are four pantries, a soup kitchen serving lunch in the off-season, and a handful of mobile pantries that bring groceries to Provincetown residents. When the Provincetown Health Department met with local agencies to find out what gaps exist in getting healthful foods to those who need them, however, the message was loud and clear: Provincetown needs a central location for fresh produce so that those who access the pantries and other community programs can eat fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. A community fridge, accessible to all.

Enter Crop Swap: Provincetown’s Produce Swap Shop, a new collaborative project of the Provincetown Health Department, the Provincetown Public Library, and the Soup Kitchen in Provincetown (SKIP).

The premise of the Crop Swap is similar to the town’s swap shop – people can drop off fresh, uncut fruits and veggies, and people can take them. The Health Department purchased a new refrigerator to hold the fresh produce, and shelves are available for produce that does not refrigerate well. J&E Produce and Stop and Shop are among the large-scale, committed produce donors, as the goal is to reduce food waste in the community as well. Shopping bags are not provided; shoppers need to bring their own bags when they come to pick-up produce. The program will be run primarily by volunteers who will manage quality control of the fridge’s contents, pick up items from regular donors, and help get the word out about the fridge. Anyone interesting in volunteering or providing regular donations can contact Morgan Clark at the Provincetown Health Department.

The fridge is located on the first floor of the Public Library at 356 Commercial Street and is open to all during the Library’s hours of operation (Mondays and Fridays 10 – 4:30; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 10 – 7:30; Saturdays and Sundays 1 – 4:30). The fridge opens for produce swapping Tuesday, September 3 at 4 p.m. with a launch party and opening remarks by State Senator Julian Cyr on the Library Lawn.

In the 2017 report, Disparities in State Specific Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, the CDC found that only “1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations […and that…] consumption was lower among men, young adults, and adults living in poverty.” Further, “1 in 10 American children ages 2 to 17 don’t consume fruits or vegetables at all on a daily basis,” say the authors of the report Fruit and Vegetable Consumption of U.S. Youth. A daily diet full of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.

While rising home prices give the impression that Provincetown is an affluent community, many are living on the edge of poverty and unable to afford healthful foods. Almost a third of Provincetown renters pay 35% or more of their salary on rent, according to the 2017 Economic Indicators report. Because 31.2% of families are economically disadvantaged, Provincetown Schools provide free breakfast and lunch to all students (Department of Education school profile database).

“We hope the Crop Swap will enable more folks to eat a more balanced diet, leading to better health outcomes,” says Clark.

For more information, please call (508.487.7020) or email ([email protected]) Health Director Morgan Clark.

Free Offering in Town

Everybody is welcome to attend a drop-in conversation on radical aging.  It’s an opportunity to share your experience of aging through creative work or through highlighting your life experience. Fun and informative, with Mary DeRocco at the Provincetown Commons, 46 Bradford St. this Thursday, August 29, 9 – 11:30 a.m.  

Twenty Summers Announces New Executive Director

Following a wide-ranging search to replace its outgoing director, Camille Ives Beck, the board is pleased to announce that Kristina Kearns has joined Twenty Summers’ as its new executive director.

Kearns was most recently the executive and editorial director of McSweeney’s Publishing, an award-winning independent press founded by Dave Eggers in 1998. Eggers has described Kearns as “a peerless captain and fearless forager of funds,” and she brings with her a deep affinity for and close connection to a wide array of emerging and established artists. Her previous projects exemplify a talent for creating new programming initiatives and partnerships, as well as providing artists and organizations opportunities to closely engage with new audiences.

“Twenty Summers and its outgoing executive director [Camille Ives Beck] have done incredible work to both preserve and revitalize this historic artistic landmark, to honor its legacy, and to welcome a new generation of musicians, writers, intellectuals, and artists to take part,” observes Kristina. “I’ve witnessed the organization’s growth since 2014 and marvel at all it has already accomplished. I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to help shape what comes next.”

After four seasons with Twenty Summers, Camille Ives Beck is leaving the organization at the end of August in order to devote herself to a cause based closer to her home in Portland, Maine.

In a letter to supporters and fans, Twenty Summers board member and award-winning novelist Julia Glass thanks Camille Ives Beck for “helping us become who we are” and praises her as “a vital member of our team. Under Camille Ives Beck’s guidance, the number of events we presented nearly tripled, from 10 in 2014 to 28 this year. In our last four seasons, attendance grew threefold as well, and media partnerships with local NPR affiliate WCAI and Xfinity New England have helped our online videos reach nearly 250k views.” 

“We are proud of our continued growth,” says Glass, “and see this transition as yet another opportunity to expand our horizons and broaden our stage. Under Kristina’s leadership, we expect to stimulate, delight, and entertain you anew.”

Twenty Summers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization in Provincetown, Massachusetts, founded to foster public engagement with art and artists, and to honor the legacy of art in Provincetown. Its efforts led to a full restoration of the historic Hawthorne Barn, where that legacy began and where its festival of concerts, conversations, artists residencies, and special events takes place annually from mid-May to mid-June. For more information about the organization visit 20summers.org.

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