Spotlight Non-profit: Home gardeners and food pantries partner together to bring food to the hungry

LatinaLista – “An estimated 100 billion pounds of food, enough to totally eliminate hunger, is thrown away annually in the United States.”

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It’s a startling observation that creates a picture of needless waste when it’s known that:

One out of six Americans needs food assistance, but can’t get fresh produce from the local food pantry; and Millions of American homeowners grow more food in their backyard gardens than they can possibly use.

With rising food prices and the food waste that goes on, it would be great if there was a way to get food out to the people who really need it — for free.

Well, thankfully, someone saw the absurdity of throwing food away while there are people going hungry. It’s called AmpleHarvest.org.

Its mission is to diminish hunger in America by educating and enabling gardeners to donate their excess harvest to the needy in their community instead of allowing it to rot in the garden.

AmpleHarvest.org helps locally grown food get to food pantries. There are 3,216 partnering food pantries across America already registered on AmpleHarvest.org. There is also an iPhone app to help gardeners and clients find food pantries that partner with AmpleHarvest.org.

With the food crisis expected to escalate, AmpleHarvest.org’s mission of diminishing hunger in the nation will gain greater importance and need even more support from local communities. In addition to the produce from local gardeners, AmpleHarvest.org accepts cash donations to help buy canned items for food pantries.

The statistic from before the recession was that 36 million people were receiving some type of assistance for food. Now it has grown to 49 million people or about 18% of the US population.

The place where families usually get food assistance is called a “food pantry.” They usually have shelves containing dry packed or canned foods, juices, and other household necessities. There may be a refrigerator with dairy products and other perishables at the pantry.

However, fresh produce is almost never available.

 

It does not have to be that way.

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