Community Harvest gets $1.4M property

Published 11:04 am Monday, October 22, 2012

Debra Hicks, secretary for Community Harvest Outreach, serves Isaiah Ruffin, 10, of Suffolk pasta salad while his grandmother, Constance Ruffin, also of Suffolk, waits in line during a ceremony celebrating the donation of six acres to the non-profit agency. GWEN ALBERS/TIDEWATER NEWS

WINDSOR—A Windsor-based non-profit that provides food and clothing to the poor on Sunday celebrated the donation of six acres worth $1.4 million for a community center.

“I was certainly in shock,” said Ernest Hunter, vice chairman for Community Harvest Outreach about receiving the land from Carl Langley, president of Barbee Investments in Newport News.

“He saw the program and what we are doing, and I guess it touched his heart,” Hunter said.

Located on Courthouse Highway north of Windsor Middle School between Twin Ponds and Beal drives, the property will be used for a new 1,600-square-foot building. Community Harvest plans to include an auditorium, lodging space, banquet hall, gymnasium, computer lab, food pantry and commercial kitchen.

Construction is expected to begin in January, said Director Nancy Williams. The yet-to-be determined cost will be funded through donations, grants and fundraisers, Williams said.

Community Harvest, which is currently located in the Windsor Building at 5 E. Roberts Road, eight years ago approached Langley about donating the land. A few years later, he offered three acres, Williams said.

“And then he gave us all six,” she said. “It’s a miracle. The Lord came here and told us to plant the word of God here.”

The new facility will offer a day-program for senior citizens, recreation and fitness center, and youth outreach, GED and adult literacy programs.

Community Harvest in 2007 was established to offer programs and services for low-income families. The agency provides food, clothing and shelter for residents throughout Hampton Roads and parts of North Carolina.

Community Harvest since its inception has fed 71,000 individuals, distributed more than 218,000 pounds of food, provided more than 32,000 articles of clothing, including 16,000 coats.