Greenfield’s annual Harvest Supper returns in person

  • Volunteers handed out meals to-go at a modified version of the Harvest Supper in Greenfield in 2020. The annual meal will return to being an in-person celebration on Sunday on the Greenfield Common. STAFF FILE PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

Staff Writer
Published: 8/18/2021 4:33:14 PM

GREENFIELD — After last year’s modified version of the community meal, the annual Harvest Supper has returned to being an in-person celebration.

“Last year, we served about 400 (curbside pickup) meals,” recounted Kirsten Levitt, executive director and chef of Stone Soup Café, which is hosting the event. “It’s really exciting to think we’ll be up in the 800 to 1,000 meal range, hopefully. I’m very excited to be able to greet people — even with my mask on — in person, because I don’t often get to see everybody we feed at the cafe because I’m inside.”

The supper — which was first organized in 2005 by Juanita Nelson as a celebration of healthy, locally sourced food — is scheduled for Sunday starting at 4 p.m. on the Greenfield Common. The event is open to all, and guests are asked to bring their own plates, cups and utensils.

Levitt said she is still looking for volunteers to help on the day of, as well as with food preparation in the days prior.

“We’re going to try to be as prepped ahead of time as possible,” she said.

Shifts for volunteers on Sunday begin as early as 8 a.m. for meal prep, with the last shift beginning at 6:15 p.m. for cleanup. Volunteers can sign up on Stone Soup Café’s website at bit.ly/3iSyHHM. Local leaders including Mayor Roxann Wedegartner, City Council President Penny Ricketts and state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton will be among those volunteering.

Although the celebration will look similar to pre-pandemic suppers, masks will be encouraged for attendees when they aren’t seated; tables will be more spread out and tables will seat fewer guests than in the past; and face painting for children won’t be offered.

“That requires really close contact and children are the most vulnerable,” Levitt said.

There will, however, be musical entertainment, jugglers, mimes and stilt walkers, she said, as well as merchandise for sale and raffle tables.

Guests will be able to take any of the excess produce provided by farmers at the Really, Really Free Market, Levitt added.

“The list of local farmers is too long to go into,” she said. “There are about 50 farms and local producers who are donating that I know of so far, and there are also more that walk in the door on the day of.”

Additionally, Stone Soup Café has partnered with local restaurants, including Magpie and The People’s Pint, to help with cooking. Ice Cream Alley will be scooping locally made ice cream.

“The meal is made with 95 percent local products, and the vast majority of that is organic,” Levitt said.

Levitt said she is grateful to know that so many Franklin County residents have been vaccinated, allowing for a safe in-person celebration this year.

“I feel like it’s personally gratifying to be able to offer something to the community as a whole, and to continue the traditions that … the founders of the meal created 17 years ago,” Levitt said, referencing Juanita Nelson and her husband, Wally. “This, to me, is the ultimate Greenfield tradition.”

People can donate to the Harvest Supper via the Stone Soup Café website at bit.ly/3iSyHHM or by sending checks made out to “The Stone Soup Café” to Kirsten Levitt, The Stone Soup Café, P.O. Box 542, Greenfield, MA 01302. “Free Harvest Supper” should be noted on the check.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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