We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Village Harvest, Aug. 16, 2023

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, the day before the Harvest is a work day. 3 main tasks:

This month for Wed’s distribution we had:

  • meat and fish (whole chickens, salmon or pork chops),
  • fresh vegetables ( lettuce, eggplant, corn)
  • canned goods (corn, string beans, pears, beef stew).
  • cooked chicken in packs

Clients – A big boost to the harvest over the last month up from 72 in July to 100 in August. There was a similar increase in 2021 to 2022, 74 to 89 but was less than the change this year.

Another positive sign is to consider the 6 month client results, March through Aug, covering most of the 2nd and 3rd quarters, eliminating the winter slow period. There is a steady rise from 2021-2023, 440 to 514.

We are still behind year to date for 8 months in people – 652 compared to 706 in 2022 but looking back to 2021 we are above its total 640. We have added 3 families or 12 people in different months in 2023.

Pounds in 2023 are under both 2022 and 2021. To date we have provide 8,764 pounds of food compared to 9,759 in 2022 and 10,179 for 2021. Even the 6 month periods do not show the positive trend as did the clients as noted by the following chart:

We are dependent on supplies from the Healthy Harvest Food Bank in Montross and somewhat limited since we are out of their normal distribution geography and take what is available.

Pounds per client is a measure of effectiveness. Despite the lower number of pounds provided, pounds per client remains positive by 13.5 pounds in 2023, close to 14.0 in 2022 though under 15.9 in 2021. Except for 2019 and 2021, and 2022, pounds per client is higher than anytime in the history of the Village Harvest.

Pounds – Types. Typically, food types are broken down into produce, grocery items and meat In August, 19% of the foods were produce. This is below the last two years in August at 21% and 27%. A larger percentage of produce would be advantageous. Usually, the larger percentages of produce takes away from grocery items.

Cost. The total cost of food in 2023 has been $1,343 very close to $1,366 in 2022. The average cost per month has been $169 in 2023 compared to $171 in 2022. August was higher at $199, reflecting quantities purchased as well some increased base costs on food.

Total cost per client over the year has been $2.08 in 2023 vs. $1.93 in 2022. This is 6.7% higher in 2023 which reflects inflationary trends.