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, and we respect and honor with gratitude the land itself, the legacy of the ancestors, and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

The Village Harvest, Oct. 2023, the end of 9 years

The Village Harvest began with its first distribution in Nov. 2014.  Thus in Oct. 2023, we are measuring 12 months since November, 2022 and the end of 9 years. In Nov. 2023, we will begin the 10th year of the harvest.

For the 12-month period ending Oct. 2023, we served 1012 customers. That is the lowest since Nov 2019 to Oct. 2020  due to the pandemic.  We have been on a declining trend since 2016.  However, 2023’s decline is related to the lower 1st quarter 2023 clients.  For the first quarter, We served only 218 clients in 2023 much lower than in earlier years (2020, 310;2021, 295; 2022, 296)

Reviewing the period after the first quarter (April through Oct) provides a much different result. We served 623 in 2023 (April through Oct). This result exceeded 584 (2022) and 506 (2021) The first quarter of this year was clearly an anomaly that affected the 12-month results and the Harvest’s figures since the first quarter are impressive. The April-Oct figures currently  are below that of earlier years which were a minimum of 800

Food provided varies less than clients from 2019. For the current year we provided 14,390 pounds of food, close to and greater than 2021 at 14,109. It was under the 15K figures for both 2020 and 2018. What do we provide? In the current month of Oct., we received much less produce than in the last two years. This year only 6% produce compared to 50% in 2022 and 53% in 2021. It was made up of mostly grocery items and secondarily meat.

Pounds per client measures the relationship between clients and pounds of food.  This is the typical amount of food received by clients.  For the 12-month period ending Oct. 2023, pounds per client increased from 13.1 to 14.2. This is the second-best figure for the harvest.

Costs not surprisingly have risen. Per pound of food has risen from $0.14 in 2020 and 2021 to $0.16 for the year ending Oct. 2023.  The cost per client is up $1.79 to $2.22. The church cost is $2,250 for the year compared to $1,930. It is up 16.5% which reflects some the inflation over the past year in food 9.9%.  Actual costs can vary based on any inventory we have retained.