Last year, Ellen Schreder saw both a need and an opportunity. Her work in CapHaitian had come to a standstill due to political unrest in the country of Haiti. Communication with the staff at her guest house and HHW sewing center continued and she soon realized that food scarcity was becoming an enormous issue for the people of Haiti due to the border closing between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Many of the vegetables and meat for the northern population of Haiti is transported across the border from the DR. Around the same time she saw a notice that the Ferry Morse seed company was looking for a donation site for their unsold seeds. Ellen soon had 20 large boxes of seeds taking up the extra crevices of a container on its’ way to Haiti. Because of the tropical climate, the seeds were planted soon after arrival and produced a bountiful harvest of vegetables for area families. That same tropical climate allows for 2-3 growing seasons, providing for a never ending supply of food.
Unfortunately, the situation in Haiti is even more dire in 2020. Although the political unrest has diminished, the threat of Covid has again closed the border, not only with the DR but also the US. Ellen reached out to Ferry Morse again asking for seed donations and last week a semi delivered 45 boxes of assorted vegetable seeds that volunteers have spent the week sorting. Due to the large quantities received, we have been able to provide donations for urban gardens in Minneapolis to use in 2021. These urban gardens are working to diminish the food deserts that contribute to unhealthy eating habits while also teaching volunteers about where food comes from.