Harvest fest planned for Suffolk

Published 8:29 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

Suffolk interns are giving back to the community with an event for the whole family to enjoy.

Hope for Suffolk is hosting a harvest festival from 2-6 p.m. on Oct. 2 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3488 Godwin Blvd.

There are 31 interns who have farmed and worked for Hope for Suffolk since March on the side yard of the church. While deciding on a project to close out the season, the team decided that the obvious answer, since they were on a farm, was to host a harvest festival.

“We wanted to do something community-wide that all can be involved in, and Suffolk does good with festivals and fairs,” ​said ​Nyasia Johnson, program manager at Hope for Suffolk.

The interns will do the majority of the work for this event. They have been split into different teams that will take charge of various tasks, whether it be setting up or running a part of the event. The day will have lots to offer, including food trucks, free snow cones, a 360 photo booth, bounce houses, a petting zoo, live entertainment, games and vendors. The event is free, but donations are gladly accepted to continue the support of Hope for Suffolk.

“We hope to see a lot of people to come out,” said Avery Shaw, one of the Hope for Suffolk interns. “Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy.”

Shaw is a 15-year-old sophomore at King’s Fork High School. He was struggling with the turbulent school year after the pandemic when he heard of the internship. He found it a great opportunity to get out of the house and meet new people.

“It’s been great meeting new people,” said Shaw. “I’ve made a ton of new friends that I actually want to hang out with. I’ve made some great relationships and connections here.”

Hope for Suffolk is an internship program that pays its interns as well as gives them community service credit required for graduation. The interns work the small farm and sell the produce to customers.

According to Johnson, as a volunteer, she has enjoyed watching the teens grow in their work ethic, relationships and as people. She believes that the people she met in March are not the same people now.

“The harvest fest is the closer of our season, and I am very excited about next season,” said Johnson. “We will be accepting applications for next year’s interns too, so be on the lookout for that.”