Where and how to donate garden produce to the community
- posted on: July 17, 2020
- posted by: Robin Crowder
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Mary from our Farm Market team spent some time researching where home gardeners could donate excess produce to help feed the community. She wrote up this excellent resource:
HOME VEGETABLE GARDENERS! Did you grow an extra row of something to share? Did your garden explode with unexpected abundance? By donating fresh produce to your local food pantry, you can help curb hunger and increase the health of your neighbors, as well as prevent food waste.
AmpleHarvest.org, a nationwide nonprofit which aims to diminish hunger and food waste by connecting gardeners to food pantries via an online registry, estimates that while over 42 million Americans are food insecure, approximately the same number of people are growing food at home, often with surplus harvest. Whether your surplus is a surprise or a planned effort, don’t let it be part of the 11.5 billion pounds of garden produce that is wasted annually (enough to feed 28 million people).
Your garden-fresh food donations to a local food pantry this year will be more critical than ever. Hungry families and those living with or recovering from illness need your fresh produce.
These guidelines will help keep yourself, the food pantry staff and the hungry families safe. Find more tips and guidelines here.
- Don’t harvest food if you have any symptoms of illness.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap, and wear gloves from harvest to donation.
- Call the food pantry before harvesting to agree on a time and specific location to drop off your food. Both parties should be wearing gloves and masks.
- When you are done, wash your hands again.
These local food pantries’ clients will enjoy your donations of fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce should be free of soil, with loose leafy greens or peas and beans portioned to fill half a typical produce bag, and ideally harvested the same day. Contact the organization for drop off hours and instructions. Don’t drop off perishable items during closed hours.
Maltby Food Bank (Maltby):
www.maltbyfoodbank.org (360) 668-7900
Hopelink: No longer accepting food donations.
Concern For Neighbors Food Bank (Mountlake Terrace):
https://www.concern4neighborsfb.org/ (425) 778-7227
North Helpline (Seattle):
www.northhelpline.org (206) 367-3477
Lynnwood Food Bank (Lynnwood):
www.lynnwoodfoodbank.org (425) 745-1635
Snohomish Community Food Bank (Snohomish):
www.snohomishfoodbank.org (360) 568-7993
Family Works Seattle (University District):
www.familyworksseattle.org (206) 694-6727
Ballard Food Bank (Ballard):
www.ballardfoodbank.org (206) 789-7800
If you need access to food, find your nearest food pantry or free meal by dialing 2-1-1, or consult this map.