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Seeds of Freedom

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Seeds of Freedom

  1. 1. Seeds
of
Freedom Story

by
Jack
Kelly Photos
by
Kevin
Minderhaut
  2. 2. Text It’s
late
afternoon
in
Eugene,
Oregon.
Time
to
call
it
a
day.
A
river
of
downtown
business
people
begins
its
exodus,
 emptying
the
ofGice
buildings
and
daytime
service
establishments
and
joining
the
Glow
of
trafGic
going
elsewhere.

Some
 linger
at
the
after­work
bars,
like
the
Horsehead
or
the
Steelhead
Brewery.
They’ll
be
going
soon.
As
the
day­timers
leave,
 the
people
of
the
street
emerge,
seemingly,
“out
of
the
woodwork.”
Walking
in
the
alleyways,
up
from
their
safe
places
by
the
 river,
or
on
the
butte
between
the
tracks
and
the
river,
maybe
walking
down
the
tracks
from
the
north
where
they
just
came
 in
with
the
freight
on
the
Union
PaciGic.
The
homeless
in
Eugene
come
from
all
over,
and
right
now
many
of
these
paths
lead
 to
the
Food
for
Lane
County
Dining
Room
on
8th
and
Lincoln.

  3. 3. The
folks
that
work
or
volunteer
at
the
FFLC
kitchen
or
dining
room,
or
at
one
of
the
farms,
are
as
core
to
the
subculture
of
the
 needy
as
the
clients
themselves.
Many
of
these
folks
have
been
touched
by
need
in
their
own
lives,
have
seen
friends
or
family
members
 suffer,
and
maybe
have
experienced
personal
loss
related
to
poverty,
homelessness,
drug
addiction,
alcoholism;
the
list
goes
on.
Some
 of
them
hold
a
vision
of
a
more
sustainable,
serviceable,
all­inclusive
society,
one
that
does
not
stand
passively
by
while
the
 dispossessed
lie
drunk
in
the
gutter.
These
are
people
who
have
found
abundance
and
peace
in
the
magic
of
service
to
others,
and
are
 focused
on
giving
a
hand
to
all
their
brothers
and
sisters.

They
are
busy
planting
the
seeds
of
freedom.
  4. 4. Made
says,
“I’m
here
 to
make
sure
everybody
 is
OK
and
nobody
gets
 hurt.”
 He
has
an
incredible
 energy
about
him;
 keeping
the
peace,
 helping
folks
lock
up
 their
bikes
to
the
racks
 or
watching
their
pack
 for
a
minute.
When
 Made
Girst
came
to
 Eugene,
he
came
to
the
 dining
room
as
a
client.

  5. 5. “I
want
this
 to
be
a
dining
 room
not
a
 soup
kitchen,”
 says
Josie
 McCarthy,
 dining
room
 manager.
 “A
haven,
 where
people
 can
relax
from
 the
rigors
of
 their
 situation.”
  6. 6. Inside
the
dining
room
 customers,
volunteers
and
 workers
mesh
into
a
 pleasant,
happy
 community
of
respect.
A
 trio
of
musician’s
plays
 bluegrass
near
the
door,
 Vita,
the
hostess,
 welcomes
the
guests
to
 their
tables.
Eddie,
a
guy
 who
uses
karate
to
keep
 his
focus
away
from
his
 addictions,
is
washing
the
 dishes.
Each
one
has
a
 personal
connection
to
 this
work,
a
reason
to
be
 here
helping.

  7. 7. Food
for
Lane
County,

has
a
massive
distribution
center
on
the
west
end
of
town
and
in
that
building
is
a
10,
000
sq.
ft
 kitchen.

Lots
of
stainless
steel
and
everything
is
big.
Big
sinks,
big
cooking
utensils,
big
prep
tables.
FFLC
partnered
with
 over
one
hundred
social
service
agencies
and
programs
to
distribute
6
million
pounds
of
food
to
80,000
Lane
County
 residents
last
year.
The
kitchen
is
feeding
from
250
to
400
a
day.
It
depends
on
the
time
of
month.
People
run
out
of
 money
and
food
stamps
at
the
end
of
the
month
and
the
numbers
go
up.

  8. 8. This
afternoon’s
prep
goes
on
six
days
a
week.
At
night
folks
come
in
and
repackage
dry
foods
and
stuff
that
has
been
donated.
 That
food
goes
into
food
boxes
that
folks
in
need
access
at
one
of
several
food
pantries
around
town.
There
are
many
families,
 working
families,
in
Lane
County,
who
at
the
end
of
the
month
need
to
avail
themselves
of
one
of
these
boxes.

  9. 9. The
SpringGield
Youth
Farm
sits
on
 a
sixteen­acre
parcel
surrounded
by
 subdivisions
that
have
sprouted
up
on
 these
McKenzie
River
farmlands
in
 recent
years.
The
Youth
Farm
grows
 produce
for
Food
for
Lane
County;
 fresh
fruit
and
vegetables
that
end
up
 in
the
prep
kitchen,
in
meals
at
the
 Dining
Room,
and
in
emergency
food
 boxes.

  10. 10. Ted
Purdy
is
the
farmer
here
but
he’s
more
than
that.
He’s
a
social
worker,
a
teacher,
a
mentor
and
provider.
In
his
late
twenties,
 Ted
has
an
advanced
mathematics
degree.
“Helps
me
crunch
numbers
out
here,”
he
laughs.
When
he
got
out
of
college
he
wanted
to
 do
something
environmental.
Lean
and
tan
even
after
four
months
of
rain,
Ted
is
focused
on
his
mission.
  11. 11. Food
for
Lane
County
is
unique
in
the
nation
for
producing
a
good
portion
of
its
own
food.
And
the
 need
is
growing.
In
these
hard
times
donations
are
dwindling.
People
naturally
have
less
to
give.

  12. 12. What
Ted
Purdy
and
the
Food
for
 Lane
County
people
are
doing,
when
 dozens
of
young
volunteers
and
line
 workers
place
hundreds
of
seedlings
in
 the
long
rich
rows
of
the
Youth
Farm,
is
 planting
seeds
of
freedom.
 Teaching
young
people
how
to
feed
 themselves,
their
families,
their
 neighbors,
is
key
to
reconnecting
society
 with
its
roots.
  13. 13. In
many
ways
the
Eugene
area
is
in
the
vanguard
of
bringing
the
production
of
food
closer
to
home.
And

 thanks
to
hundreds
of
caring
community
members,
bringing
fresh,
real,
food
to
the
homeless,
foodless,
and
 needy
as
well.

  14. 14. Let
us
sit
down
soon
 to
eat with
all
those
who
 haven’t
eaten Let
us
spread
great
 table
cloths, put
salt
in
the
lakes
 of
the
world, set
up
planetary
 bakeries, tables
with
 strawberries
in
 snow And
a
plate
like
the
 moon
itself from
which
we
all
 will
eat. For
now,
I
ask
no
 more Than
the
Justice
of
 Eating ‐
Pablo
Neruda

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