I have heard the name ‘Ample Harvest’ in recent weeks but didn’t pay much attention to it until I saw a CNN article and video about this exciting endeavor to connect gardeners who have a prolific harvest with food pantries that need food donations.
I’m really excited about this because often local food pantries don’t have fresh vegetables to give to hungry folks who come in and I know as gardeners, my wife and I have had times where we needed somewhere to take our over abundant harvest. This whole concept also is a form of gleaning which I believe if put into motion could seriously alleviate hunger in our communities nationwide. Here’s a little more about AmpleHarvest from founder Gary Oppenheimer (from the AmpleHarvest website):
“Shortly after I became the director of the West Milford Community Garden in late 2008, I learned that some of our garden plot holders — like millions of backyard gardeners nationwide — left large amounts of their garden produce unharvested when they grew more than they could possibly use.
Aware that hunger is a problem in our community, I suggested that we created a committee that would help to gather this extra food and deliver it to local food pantries. The program was named Ample Harvest.
Food pantries however were hard to find, in large part because most operate without an Internet site or yellow page listing. Google for example listed the nearest food pantry as being in a town 25 miles away, even though our own town had several of them. And it turns out this same challenge was faced by backyard gardeners nationwide wishing to share their bounty.
To address this dilemma, we created the AmpleHarvest.org Campaign, a nationwide effort to educate, encourage and enable gardeners with extra produce to easily donate to a local food pantry. AmpleHarvest.org gives food pantries the opportunity to be listed in a central nationwide directory so that gardeners can share their fresh produce and, garden-by-garden, help diminish hunger in America…[read more]”
Check out the video from CNN:
Go ahead, find a local pantry in your area: here.