Susan Romaine, Co-Founder, PORCH
It was just great having Book Harvest as part of PORCH’s Food for Families deliveries this summer. The PORCH-Book Harvest partnership was billed as “Well Fed, Well Read” and it did just that. During the three months out of the year when kids do not have access to free and reduced price meals at school, or to their school libraries, the goal of the partnership was to fill the void with donated fresh produce and new or gently used books.
The healthy food was there to help for the short-term, as all of the participants in Food for Families live in poverty – and in some cases, extreme poverty. The books were designed more for the long-term — that is, to help the kids break out of the cycle of poverty by instilling a love of reading.
What a thrill it was to see kids plopped down on a blanket or sitting on a porch step reading a brand new book from Book Harvest, while surrounded by bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, and cartons of milk and eggs, all donated by PORCH. In that one summer snapshot, the kids were getting just the kind of nourishment (of body and mind) that they need in order to succeed in school and the workplace.
I could not help but notice the excitement on the children’s faces as they picked out books for their own personal libraries, and the pride on the parents’ faces as they watched their children read. And my favorite scene all summer was when several children sat in a circle with their parents in the grass and together, flipped through the pages and laughed all the way through the story. I will always remember the joy from that spontaneous book group and be so grateful that Book Harvest was there to make it happen.