Harvest Heroes program helps veterans heal, grow

More than 115,000 veterans livein Idaho. With many veterans facing food insecurity and mental and physical challenges,University of Idaho Extension personnel saw an opportunity in 2019to help. Through the Harvest Heroes program, veterans are trained to grow healthy foods for themselves and local food banks and shelters. Participants havereceived classroom lessons on seed starting, irrigation, food preservation, pest management and more. TheHarvest Heroes’ efforts have produced more than 3,300 pounds of fresh vegetables, berries and herbs, worth more than $6,000, over the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons. The program has also yielded the chance to develop relationships with fellow veterans and encourage personal healing.One participant said, “I really enjoyed the program. The instructors really did a lotof one-on-one work and adjusted according to each person’s abilities and capabilities. I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet other veterans and even talk to a few on a regular basis.”Several participants have gotten their children involved and built wheelchair-accessible garden beds. A couple of participants have even gone on to have their own farms.

Link to full statement on website:https://landgrantimpacts.tamu.edu/impacts/show/5615