Houlton students help harvest vegetables for hungry families

HOULTON, Me (WAGM) Hundreds of hands were in the dirt on Wednesday...Houlton High School students packed the fields at the Friends of Aroostook's farm in Houlton, helping harvest vegetables that will feed families throughout our County and state.

"There's families around the County and stuff that don't get fed and this right here will help them get food on their plate," said Cameron Cleary.

This is a first for the high school senior.

"I actually have not done this kind of work which is weird since I live in Aroostook County...this is my first time doing harvest stuff, I'm really excited about it."

And that enthusiasm is shared by his peers.

"The kids are very excited we met with them prior to coming here in the auditorium and you could have heard a pin drop when I was explaining the farm that we're going to, what they do...the kids were so quiet, and respectful and right now I just witnessed some picking beats and rutabaga and doing a fantastic job," said JMG specialist Dee Butler.

Students in the JMG or Jobs for Maine's Graduates program were leading the effort. Executive Director of Friends of Aroostook Dale Flewelling was thrilled to have this help.

"Crucial, its very crucial that we have the help. We're kind of at the end of our season and yet we have beets, rutabaga, carrots, winter squash, and potatoes left in the ground," said Flewelling.

Friends of Aroostook provides fruits and vegetables for County and state food pantries, meals on wheels programs, and food banks downstate. Flewelling calls this work the purest form of volunteerism.

"It's good that youth come without expectation, simply for the common good of others," said Flewelling.

And it doesn't stop here. East Grand high school students will be helping Flewelling and crew on Thursday.