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McGovern Plants Seeds for Hunger Solution

The congressman visits the Community Harvest Project and discusses hunger initiatives.

U.S. Rep. James McGovern visited town Friday to get his hands dirty.

But this dirty deal was not only legal, it also helps feed local people who are hungry.

He helped plant tomato plants for the , which provides tons of produce each year to the Worcester County Food Bank. The fresh produce is grown at the fields in Grafton.

He visited the project, located at the Brigham Hill Community Barn, Friday to learn more about the program and to offer his support for programs that fight hunger.

McGovern will represent Grafton beginning in January, when redistricting goes into effect. He has visited a variety of locations in town to better understand the town's issues and challenges.

Even if the moral concept of feeding the hungry does not strike a chord, the economic ramifications should, he said.

Keeping people well-fed with nutritious food lowers medical costs, he said.

Officials from Community Harvest Project explained that the project has a limited paid staff. The vast majority of the planting, tending and harvesting is done by volunteers, both individuals and from community organizations and businesses.

On Friday morning, students from Doherty High School in Worcester worked the fields.

The project provides fresh produce for the Worcester County Food Bank, which in turn serves the food to people in need. The fresh food provides an important component in diets that are often heavy with sweets and preservatives, supporters of the project have said.

McGovern said he has been in contact with officials from the United States Department of Agriculture to discuss creating a food hub, where farm products could be stored and processed.

He serves as the co-chairman of the U.S House of Representatives hunger caucus. “Nobody in the United States should go hungry,’’ he said. “No one in the world should.’’

Community Harvest Project board member Scott Rossiter said the project serves as a catalyst for community action.

“We’re building the capacity to get the community together to solve a problem,’’ he said.

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