ROSS, Ohio – Because Burwinkel Farms got an unexpected surprise, 2,000 Cincinnati Public School kids and their families got an unexpected treat.
The Burwinkels found 8,000 ears of sweet corn ripening prematurely this week.
"This corn was supposed to be ready next week for the Fourth of July holiday and it's a little early due to the heat and all the rain we've had," said Karen Burwinkel, market manager.
When sweet corn is ripe, it has to come out, Burwinkel said.
When they found themselves with a huge surplus, the Burwinkels called CPS and offered the corn to the kids and families who use the summer feeding program.
There was only one hitch.
The teens who work at Burwinkel Farms had to hand-pick the corn – and fast.
No problem. They furiously picked two truckloads of corn in just two hours.
All that pickin' and grinnin’ made Mason Hempel proud.
"Working here, this is a family, this is not another job. I wouldn't trade this job for the world," the La Salle High School senior said.
The Burwinkels were happy to give the corn to a good cause and CPS was happy to get it. Because there was so much of it, the kids were able to take some home.
"These families really, really need it and it's really, really great that they get some nutritious food come their way," Burwinkel said.
Lauren Marlow, CPS Summer Program Supervisor, said the kids not only got healthy food, they got a lesson.
"This is nutritious food that they get to take instead of processed food that they might get at the grocery store typically,” Marlow said. “They get to take home corn fresh from the farm, not processed at all, so they can see how corn comes, how it grows."
Donating and helping others is not new for the Burwinkels. They also made a large donation to St. Vincent de Paul and always support Holy Family food pantry.