Primary Goal & Purpose:
Our primary function is to provide nutritional sustenance on a monthly basis to low-income and poverty stricken community members, especially those located in the south side of Merced.
Location is Key:
The physical location of Harvest time is located in the south part of Merced, which has a population of 20,000 people of diverse ethnic groups. Included in this group are large numbers of Spanish speaking people, Hmong people, senior citizens, single parent homes, and a large number of the working poor. Many are unaware of established community services while others are fearful of federal or county services. This locale and situation makes it ideal for our organization. The recipient does not need a referral to receive goods nor do they have to perform a service. They need only be hungry, a resident of Merced County, and they will receive food without guilt or shame.
Harvest Time realizes we exist specifically as the result of our volunteers devoted to spreading feeding the hungry. Their numbers have grown from approximately 10 to our current number of 30 to 45 regular volunteers. Neither the board members nor the volunteers receive salaries or compensation for their services. This stipulation was established to avoid losing sight of the sole purpose of our organization.
Support of Calvary Assembly:
We could not continue without the support of the leadership and congregation of Calvary Assembly. Their facility is used on a weekly basis for receiving and sorting food items. In addition, permanent storage is provided which includes a walk-in freezer/refrigeration unit for perishable items and a secure area for all necessary equipment.
Director of Harvest Time:
The founder of Harvest Time, Floyd Roland, has been in the mass food distribution arena since 1978. He was instrumental in starting Reaching Out of San Jose, an organization that is still in operation. His wife, Ione, served as a buyer and he as a board member for 12 years until they moved to Merced. He has now passed this ministry to Keith McClain who continues to carry this amazing ministry.
How Harvest Time began:
After moving to Merced, Floyd and Ione continued to distribute food from their home while searching for a local church to partner with their efforts and begin a mass food distribution. The leadership of Calvary Assembly of God Church in Merced recognized the need. Members of the congregation committed to the cause by volunteering their time, facilities, and support. Distribution began in March of 1995. Harvest Time incorporated on May 7, 1998, but distribution to the needy continued as before.