In March of 2020, in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, RTB launched Manifest Love — a collaborative endeavor with YWCA Southeastern MA, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.), and NorthStar Learning Centers which put healthy, local foods on the tables of families in New Bedford. The Executive Directors of these respective organizations – Desa Van Laarhoven, Gail Fortes, Bernadette Souza, and Maria Rosario – decided that RTB would provide free weekly food shares from early March 2020 to mid December to approximately 125 local families directly connected to the New Bedford organizations. Together we grew, gleaned, sourced, and distributed nutritious, organic, local food. We also created new and relevant educational resources, including videos, blogs and letters, which were sent out with the shares each week. Our partners at the YWCA meticulously translated each letter and video into Spanish and Portuguese for accessibility; NorthStar Learning Centers picked up the food shares every week at RTB and delivered them with love; and Y.O.U. provided cooking classes for children whose families receive shares through their program.

Due to the success of Manifest Love in 2020, the project continued into 2021: for 30 weeks from May through December we delivered shares to 100+ families. Since the beginning of the Manifest Love project in 2020, we have donated over 70,000 pounds of produce and local organic products. Looking forward, this project and collaboration will continue to grow and expand. Manifest Love will be starting its third season in the spring of 2022 and in late summer 2022 we will be acquiring a Manifest Love Food Truck. We are very excited about all of the new opportunities that the food truck will bring for the Manifest Love project and for the community!

Our Partners

YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

NorthStar Learning Centers mission is to help young people overcome poverty, discrimination, educational disadvantage, violence, and other adversity through learning essential competencies and hopefulness with which they can transform their lives and communities. In advocacy and public policy, we as a minority-led nonprofit organization advance diversity as a strength and resource to open pathways to create a better life.

Youth Opportunities Unlimited’s mission is to foster youth development in the Greater New Bedford Community.

RTB grew and donated nearly 16,000 pounds of produce in FY20 and over 22,000 pounds in FY21 to Manifest Love. Here is a peek at the variety of locally grown and produced items that participants received throughout the 30 weeks of the 2021 Manifest Love season:

  • Approximately 18,197 pounds of RTB grown produce
  • 5785 fresh herb bundles
  • 1126 dozen Flying Carrot Farm Eggs
  • Approximately 250 pounds Paradox Acres ground beef and sausage 
  • 102 pints RTB Granola
  • 102 quarts RTB Laundry Soap
  • 93 ½ dozen packages RTB made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
  • 184 packages Renegades Rising English Muffins
  • 111 half pints RTB jam
  • 213 pints RTB sauerkraut
  • 41 pounds Equal Exchange fair-trade and organic coffee, tea and chocolate
  • 1187 pounds Heart Beets Farm onions
  • Approximately 450 pounds Noquochoke Orchards apples and pears
  • Hundreds of pounds of produce and greens gleaned from Brix Bounty Farm and Eva’s Garden in Dartmouth

Coming soon:
the
Manifest Love Food Truck

The Manifest Love Food Truck, coming at the end of the summer 2022, will allow us to provide healthy farm goods and prepared meals to the community. It will also allow us to further our education goals (part of our non-profit mission) by providing cooking demonstrations and workshops around healthy eating and food preparation. Adding a mobile component to Manifest Love will help us stay versatile as a farm and adapt to community needs now and in the future. With the Manifest Love Food Truck, we will always be able to bring food directly to the people who need it most. We also hope that the food truck becomes a resource for our partner organizations to support all of the incredible work that they do in the community. Stay tuned! 

Each week we send out a letter with the Manifest Love shares. This letter includes photo identification of the produce, nutritional information, a recipe using one or more of the vegetables included in the share, and updates from the farm. Our partners at YWCA then meticulously translate these letters into Spanish and Portuguese, making them accessible for all of our Manifest Love participants. 

Check out some of the letters from throughout the year.

Letters in English                            Letters in Portuguese                             Letters in Spanish

The Manifest Love partners collectively decided to reduce our carbon footprint by packaging the weekly food shares in something other than single-use plastic. We decided to purchase reusable, washable ChicoBags because we could collect them weekly, launder them on the farm, refill them with the shares, and send them back out to participants. This also provided an educational opportunity for the participants, with the hope that these reusable bags will turn into shopping bags and be used well into the future. Throughout the season, we also upcycled and reused many packaging materials, such as paper bags and berry containers. In our effort to reduce waste and value resources, we put these bags and containers to good use in our Manifest Love shares.

“ I am so grateful that Round the Bend Farm is providing fresh produce, meat and herbs, and cheese. It has truly expanded our food list, while introducing us to creating more healthy meals and trying items we wouldn’t think of purchasing.”

Check out our video tutorials