Wayne County farm teams up with Cooperage Project to feed Wayne County residents

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DAMASCUS, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Farm to table. A Wayne County farm is teaming up with a food pantry to provide some relief for area residents during the pandemic.

From bagging vegetables to boxes filled with food, Willow Wisp Organic Farm is doing their part to help feed residents of Wayne County.

“We have this food here. It was a natural thing to be able to do and so I feel like I’m at least a part of the solution,” farm co-owner Tannis Kowalchuk said.

Kowalchuk teamed up with the Cooperage Project, a non-profit that engages, challenges, and enlightens the community. The project has served more than 600 families since mid-March, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are a lot of people that are out of work, like everywhere in the country and there is a lot of people that are waiting on that unemployment still. We are still 10, 11 weeks into this and people are in need,” Cooperage Project executive director Arrah Fisher said.

Along with pasta, apple sauce, toasted oats, the farm is placing carrots, lettuce, and spinach into the food boxes as they gear up for its first distribution Monday evening.

“By having it here, we are able to reach a greater portion of people in the northern parts of Wayne County that may have trouble getting to Honesdale,” Fisher said.

The owners of the farm want to do more than just provide food. Through the farm arts collective, a theater group on the farm, they want to show people what they could do with the food.

“We want to really give ideas for cooking according to what’s going out in the boxes and out of the farm,” Kowalchuk said.

Willow Wisp plans to distribute at least 20 boxes of non-perishable items along with 20 bags of vegetables a week.

The Cooperage Project will host its weekly distribution on Thursday in Honesdale and the Willow Wisp Organic Farm will have another in one week.

In order to be eligible, residents of Wayne County must register at the Cooperage online at www.thecooperageproject.org or call 570-253-2020.

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