By Clint Thompson
The University of Florida/IFAS participated in a Farm Share event on Wednesday that led to more than 40,000 pounds of food being distributed to 802 households in Alachua County, Florida.
UF Associate Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Jeanna Mastrodicasa said UF deployed 19 vehicles, including Elaine Turner, dean of the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
“I think for everybody that works at IFAS, every day our work is helping people in some capacity. But in this particular case, what I think it really gave everybody an opportunity to do was formally partner with our local government and our local community on a specific mission and to go out and support this project,” said Mastrodicasa. “For many of the folks who participated, some are typically in the office all day and never really get to interact with citizens. I think for them it was a bit of a treat to get out on the front lines. I also know for pretty much everybody involved, they were just happy to be out doing something that they felt was contributing positively. With all of our folks pretty much working from home right now, I think people were just happy to have a change to do something productive.”
Mastrodicasa said the Farm Share event encompassed 130 volunteers. They drove to different homes in Alachua County. She said the food, which included potatoes and orange juice, was donated by Farm Share and other entities.
“What we did was went out to the Alachua County Fairgrounds and picked up food. They put in our car with no contact,” Mastrodicasa said. “We drove to people’s houses, no contact, and left it at their porch. It was very well organized. We helped a lot of people.”
She added that there are approximately 250,000 people in Alachua County.