Birchwood Orchard donates 200 pounds of apples to St. Vincent de Paul food pantry

Kathy Sadowski picks a handful of apples.

Kathy Sadowski picks a handful of apples. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Chris Totaro picks apples on behalf of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

Chris Totaro picks apples on behalf of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Kathy Sadowski picks apples.

Kathy Sadowski picks apples. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry Director Kevin Little picks apples at Birchwood Orchard in Mason.

St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry Director Kevin Little picks apples at Birchwood Orchard in Mason. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Birchwood Orchard in Mason hosts hundreds of trees with many varieties of apples, which are fully in season.

Birchwood Orchard in Mason hosts hundreds of trees with many varieties of apples, which are fully in season. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Kathy Sadowski picks apples for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

Kathy Sadowski picks apples for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Sansa apples are ripe on the tree at Birchwood Orchard in Mason.

Sansa apples are ripe on the tree at Birchwood Orchard in Mason. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Jutka Varhegyi collects apples for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

Jutka Varhegyi collects apples for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry Director Kevin Little seeks out good pickings from a Birchwood Orchard apple tree.

St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry Director Kevin Little seeks out good pickings from a Birchwood Orchard apple tree. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Jutka Varhegyi chooses an apple tree for picking.

Jutka Varhegyi chooses an apple tree for picking. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Kevin Little selects an apple to add to his collection bag.

Kevin Little selects an apple to add to his collection bag. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 09-25-2023 10:38 AM

Volunteers from the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Greenville spent the afternoon in Birchwood Orchard in Mason on Friday, picking over 200 pounds of apples, which are being donated to the pantry.

The pantry serves not only Greenville, but Mason and New Ipswich, and the apples will be used both as fresh fruit and for ingredients in upcoming Thanksgiving pies made by the New Ipswich Congregational Church each fall, according to food pantry director Kevin Little.

Mary Pierce, owner of Birchwood Orchard, said that several years ago, when the orchard operated a farm stand, she would invite the pantry volunteers to clear out her stock at the end of the season, saying it was beneficial to both parties. Since she has closed the stand, a new tradition has arisen, and this year and last, she invited volunteers to pick however much they could carry away for the pantry.

Last year, the pantry was also invited to pick peaches, which the orchard also grows, but a late frost this year wiped out Pierce’s peach crop, as well as most of the crop for the state.

The pantry has worked with multiple farms this year to get fresh produce into the hands of those who use its services, including using a $1,500 grant from the New Hampshire Food Bank this summer to help purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and animal products from local farms. However, Pierce donated this pick free of charge to the pantry.

Birchwood Orchard is located at 200 Reed Road in Mason and is open for pick-your-own apples 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through most of October. For information, visit Birchwood Orchard’s Facebook page, or call 603-878-0542.

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The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry currently serves over 15,000 meals per month and is located in the Sacred Heart Church parish. The pantry is most in need of soups, coffee, tea, crackers, jelly and bottled juice. Food donations can be dropped off at the pantry during operating hours or the Sacred Heart Church office.

The pantry is open every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., or Monday through Friday by appointment. It is located behind the Sacred Heart Church at 15 High St. in Greenville. For an appointment, call 603-878-0518. Walk-ins are welcome.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.