There are a number of organizations in New Jersey and New York that support their communities by feeding those that are in need. Throughout the years, the Investors Foundation has made grants to many such organizations, and Investors Bank employees have volunteered their time at some of them. One of the newest recipients of both forms of support is America’s Grow-a-Row, headquartered in Pittstown, NJ.
America’s Grow-a-Row’s unique mission is to grow, harvest, and distribute healthy food to community kitchens and foodbanks. They own two farms and also use land donated by partners. Since they were founded in 2002, more than 7 million pounds of fruits and vegetables have been grown and donated. The Investors Foundation was proud to make a grant to this organization in 2017, to support not only their food activities, but also to help them educate the people they serve.
So a couple of months ago when the Investors Bank Internal Audit department expressed an interest in volunteering someplace together, to not only give back, but also to further bond as a team, Investors’ Culture and Development department knew just the place. America’s Grow-a-Row was glad to welcome the employees at their farm in Milford, NJ.
So what was the experience like? The Investors Bank team arrived and ate breakfast together surrounded by many other groups, and all seemed to be excited and also a bit unsure of what to expect. The volunteers then received an introduction from the organization’s president and founder, Chip Paillex, who explained how he turned his dream into the operation it is today.
It was then time to go to work. The volunteers walked a good distance to the location - a sprawling field of spaghetti squash and butternut squash. With burlap sacks in hand, they began picking vegetables and depositing them into holding bins. While this was hard work, our crew had an enjoyable time, happy to know they had contributed to the harvesting of about 24,000 pounds of vegetables, which equals 100,000 meals to be prepared for the hungry.
“It is always impactful when you work in the fields to put food onto the plates of those faced with food insecurity and hunger,” said Mr. Paillex, after the day concluded. “It certainly helps when we have fun and energetic teams like Investors Bank joining us.”
After the picking was completed, Our Culture and Development and Internal Audit teams conversed about the importance of events like these, and how it is crucial to create and facilitate these memories and days of service for all departments within Investors Bank.
Said Culture and Development Project Manager Courtney Sarni: “We did the volunteering, but I think the experience served us in ways we did not expect. Working in the field was so special, and I know that Investors Bank will be back in the future.”
Do you work with a not-for-profit organization? If so, we invite you to learn more about the Investors Foundation.