The Community Harvest Program (CHP), based in Grafton now, began here in Hopkinton at the Elmwood Farm on Ash Street. It was started and run by Bill and Rose Abbott as Food for the Needy. Local scouts and other groups volunteered with the planting, weeding and then the harvesting. Bill Abbott would take the produce to the Worcester Food Bank, dropping some off for the Senior Housing on Davis Road on the way.
When it became too much for them, the Board of Directors, working with other local farms, secured a large plot in Grafton and the name was changed to Community Harvest Program. Another field was donated by David White of Worcester and since then, CHP has acquired an orchard in Harvard.
The nonprofit CHP relies on volunteers to help with the different stages of growing and harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables which are then donated to numerous food sites across Worcester County. CHP also goes into the schools and teaches the younger students about farming, while gathering future volunteers.
Recently Jean Cann, coach of the Hopkinton High School cross-country team, took the team to Grafton where they helped with harvesting.
For more information, visit www.community-harvest.org.