COVID-19 Changes

Effective Monday March 16, all harvests are canceled through April 7 in support of the extraordinary request by Bay Area counties for residents to "shelter in place" at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus / COVID-19. Under the public health order Village Harvest is eligible to continue operating, and depending on food supply at pantries and food banks we may resume limited orchard, but not home, harvests after April 7.

Stay healthy, keep others safe, and let's all find ways to make lemonade in this challenging time.

Craig Diserens
Executive Director


Coronavirus / COVID-19 2020 Updates

Update Friday March 20:
Because of the uncertainty of when Village Harvest can resume harvests during the COVID-19 crisis, we are not accepting Home Sign Ups or Harvest Requests at this time. These forms have been temporarily disabled.

Many or most food agencies are NOT accepting homeowner drop offs. Please do not pick your own tree for donation at this time; most citrus fruit will hold well on trees for several months.

Update Monday March 16:
ALL events are cancelled through at least April 7, in support of the extraordinary request in Bay Area counties to "shelter in place" at home to reduce the tranmission and risks of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

 


 

 

The following email statement by Village Harvest's Executive Director Craig Diserens was sent to the volunteer email list on March 10 outlining changes in harvest plans and enhanced personal safety pracautions to ensure the health and safety of our extended family of volunteers and tree owners

 

Volunteer Email Newsletter March 11, 2020

 

Volunteers,

Many of us are closely following the emergence of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 respiratory disease. I'd like to share how Village Harvest is adapting our activities to follow public health guidance and our personal care for the health and safety of our extended family of volunteers and tree owners.

The latest Santa Clara County guidance for organizations is to minimize or cancel large gatherings including a ban for 3 weeks on events of 1,000 people and up; minimize close contact between people; and follow specific practices to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus.

Our events are much smaller and volunteers are apart in the outdoors rather than in close contact. However, to be cautious we are postponing our large 100 volunteer orange orchard harvests to April and will continue to monitor public health guidance.

At the same time, the harvests we do together provide important community benefits: healthy fruit for people in need, service for seniors who cannot pick their own trees, and life experiences and education for children and the young at heart.

For these reasons we plan to continue to hold smaller home harvest events, with precautions to ensure everyone has a safe experience. In a time of uncertainty, getting outdoors and doing good for others is valuable for our own health and well-being too.

Please read below for immediate changes to our schedules and practices, including instructions for volunteers to cancel if you're sick or might be at higher risk for the COVID-19 disease.

Thanks for being part of Village Harvest, and please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or concerns.

Craig Diserens

Executive Director
craig@villageharvest.org

For more COVID-19 information see the Santa Clara County FAQs and CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page.
 


Village Harvest Changes March 11 in response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The large orange orchard harvest scheduled for March 21 is postponed to April 4, and we will monitor the public health guidance for that and future harvest dates at that orchard.
  • Home harvests already on the calendar for March and April will continue, and the small "warm up" harvest at the orange orchard March 17 is still on but at reduced maximum size.
  • Personal safety hygiene:
    • Wash your hands with soap thoroughly before coming, and use alcohol sanitizer at harvests (since hand washing won't be practical). We'll outfit all teams and harvests with supplies.
    • Wear garden gloves during the harvest, even if you might not need them for gripping fruit. We've noticed that wearing gloves reduces people touching their eyes, nose or mouth - which is one of the leading ways viruses and bacteria can be transmitted, including the coronavirus.
    • Minimize close personal contact in harvests - no handshakes or hugs for now.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you cough or sneeze (or aim for your elbow if you don't have a tissue). But see the next item in this list ..
  • If you are sick with fever or any respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose), don't come to harvests regardless of the presumed cause. This is the right thing to do anytime since we're handling food.
  • Volunteers who are at higher risk for the COVID-19 disease need to carefully consider whether to participate. Per county guidance those at higher risk include:
    • People, regardless of age, with underlying health condition
    • Older adults.  The risk of COVID-19 begins to increase over 50 and increases significantly with age, with persons over age 70 and 80 in the highest risk categories.

If you need to cancel for any reason, please email us in advance to events@villageharvest.org whenever possible so we can let the leaders at a harvest know you won't be coming.