Have you heard? It’s the holiday season. You know, when the weather is cooling down and our bodies crave the bounty of the fall; potatoes, squash, and dark hearty greens. It’s also the time of year where we feel like we are constantly eating, treats in the office, potlucks and celebrations, and gatherings with the people we love. At HDFFA we love this aspect of the holiday season because we believe food connects us to each other. But we also recognize that the holiday season is hard for many. We are winding down the season with gratitude for the partnerships and efforts made in our food access programs. We reflect on the 16,600 pounds of produce donated through Grow & Give, that’s almost 5,000 meals filled with fresh, nutritious, and local produce. We reflect with the community served in Prineville through Fresh To You, where folks stock up on produce, grab their VeggieRx meal kits, and connect with their fellow community members. We reflect on the $14,600 we spent on vegetables and fruits from farmers for our VeggieRx program. We reflect on the line out the door at Fill Your Pantry, everyone excited to bring home heaps of delicious food. These are the moments and the people that keep us doing what we do. We strive to increase access of local food. We strive to highlight the amazing foods being grown and produced in Central Oregon. We encourage you to use this season and the food to slow down, we encourage you to experience what local tastes like, we encourage you to indulge in food without shame, we encourage you to creatively make each meal as nourishing as it can be with what you have and choose. And we encourage you to come together with full bellies and warm hearts with the people that make Central Oregon so special.