PORT TOWNSEND — State Rep. Mike Chapman toured gardens that support Jefferson County food banks last week.
“The state does not support food banks. However they support virtually every other nonprofit,” said Chapman, a Port Angeles Democrat who represents the 24th legislative district along with fellow Democrats state Rep. Steve Tharinger of Port Townsend and state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim.
Chapman said he is raising awareness to support budget requests for food banks.
“Our economy is not recovering in a rural economy and more people need access to food,” Chapman said.
He visited area gardens on Wednesday, including one at the Quimper Grange on 1219 Corona St.
Kathy Ryan, President of Jefferson County Food Bank Gardens, and Francesco Tortorici of Olympic BioChar joined Chapman for the tour.
Ryan said the effort includes neighborhood gardens on donated land completely planted, tended and harvested by volunteers.
In addition to 10,000 pounds of food, the Quimper Gleaners brought in 12,500 pounds of fruit last year.
Organizers expect more production this year.
Donated Biochar, a byproduct of the steam boiler at the Port Townsend Paper Company paper mill, is worked into compost and used at the orchard at Blue Heron Middle School and in other Port Townsend schools and at Chimicum, and Quilcene schools, as well as in some of the food bank gardens.