The Tap Room in Patchogue is teaming up with Independent Group Home Living’s Smile Farms in Center Moriches to help launch the organization’s produce pilot program.
Smile Farms provides people with developmental and intellectual disabilities with work programs at farms, urban gardens, greenhouses, and farm stands where they can grow and sell their own plants, flowers and produce.
IGHL/Smile Farms made its first drop-off of locally-grown cilantro to the Tap Room, which will be used in some of the restaurant’s, such as tacos and margaritas.
The Tap Room’s mission to engage with the local community and give back evolved into a program where employees volunteered to work side by side with participants of the Smile Farms job program.
Those in the program get involved with garden center planting, harvesting and performing work that is both meaningful and provides a living wage.
The Tap Room owners said they want to use The Tap Room’s significant platform to raise awareness of the work people with disabilities are capable of doing.
The program is still in its beginning phases, but Smile Farms plans to grow other vegetables and herbs throughout the summer and provide The Tap Room with additional produce in the future.
Top photo: Participants in the IGHL job program at Smile Farms.