Farm to Foodshelf Helps Distribute Over 5.3 Million Pounds in First Grant Year
Last month rounded out the first grant year of “Farm to Foodshelf”. Funded by the State of Minnesota, the “Farm to Foodshelf” grant helps agricultural producers and processors offset the cost to harvest and pack for shipping their donated fruits and vegetables.
During the first grant year, Feeding America food banks serving Minnesota, including Second Harvest Heartland, sourced and distributed more than 5.3 million pounds of fresh food throughout Minnesota. Working with a range of growers throughout the state, the variety of produce being collected has increased with the help of this grant.
Produce collected through Farm to Foodshelf must be surplus that would otherwise go unharvested or be discarded. For growers like Eric Nathe at Riverside Farms, having an avenue to donate surplus produce that is not saleable in their grocery oriented business has made him feel good because he’s still helping feed the local community.
“I hate to see produce that's still good, still edible, go unharvested. As a grower that’s a tough thing because I know how many people are out there that don’t have the money to eat.”
In the coming harvest season, we have the opportunity to collect and distribute even more food for our hungry neighbors throughout Minnesota.
“It is such a pleasure to work with these caring and generous farmers. I am grateful for their partnership in getting fresh, local produce to our neighbors in need,” says Heidi Coe, Second Harvest Heartland’s Agriculture Sourcing Representative.
Thank you to the Minnesota growers who participated in the first year of the Farm to Foodshelf grant program.
If you are a Minnesota farmer interested in sharing excess produce with those in need, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877.547.0245.