MOUNT VERNON — Earlier this week, 65 farmworker families received a box packed with fresh produce grown by local farmers.

The food distribution project, which came in time for Thanksgiving, was a collaboration between the Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC) and the Catholic Community Services Farmworker Center in Mount Vernon.

Juan Morales, programs support coordinator for the NABC, said Tuesday’s food distribution was the fourth since the project started last fall.

“The project aims at helping out Latinx or Latinx indigenous farm owners in the area,” he said. “NABC purchases their crops and produce and distributes it to Latinx or Latinx indigenous farmworker families.”

He said six farmers from Skagit and Whatcom counties supplied a dozen types of produce. With funding from a local partner, NABC purchased 1,600 pounds of produce worth more than $5,000.

“The variety of produce (gave) a great nutritional value to families,” Morales said.

He said the project helped support small farms amid the COVID-19 pandemic and after extreme weather events, including the summer heat wave and last week’s flooding.

Morales said some farms that participated in the project were directly impacted by the flooding, though were still able to deliver their produce Tuesday.

North Sound Accountable Community of Health, based in Bellingham, assisted with the project, and Skagit Gleaners supplemented the produce boxes with two chickens per family, potatoes and bread.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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