While the majority of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities want to have a regular job just like everyone else, employment opportunities for these individuals are extremely limited. In fact, 85% percent of adults with developmental disabilities are not employed, either part-time or full-time and 52% of those unemployed report that they are unable to access the job training or other assistance they need to find and keep a job. Employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities build self-esteem, independence and life skills and contribute to their overall quality of life. Employment opportunities also ease the financial burden on family members and contribute to overall family wellness and stability.
EP!C Harvest is a project to produce locally grown crops using sustainable farming practices. Crops are planted, cared for, and harvested by adults with developmental disabilities employed in EP!C’s greenhouse and outdoor garden on a plot of land adjacent to EP!C’s facility. The goals of the EPC Harvest project are to assist adults with developmental disabilities build vocational and independent living skills through planting, cultivating, and selling vegetables, herbs, and flowers and to enhance their independence and self-sufficiency through employment opportunities. Participants build vocational and life skills by learning: procedures for growing food, how to plant and grow from seed or plug, the importance of water and nutrition (for both plants and people), cause and effect, how to harvest and care for vegetables, merchandising, marketing, customer service and appropriate customer interactions, communication, teamwork, and money management.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA