October 20, 2016

Local food banks recieve almost 10,000 pounds of food

From High Desert Food and Farm Alliance

9,236 pounds of local food collected for Central Oregon food banks

Submitted photo

   Central Oregon. In the last two weeks, over 40 volunteers combed the fields of Juniper Jungle Farm gleaning over two tons of corn and potatoes. These efforts culminated in the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance’s Grow and Give program donating 9,236 pounds of local produce to NeighborImpact and the 43 food pantries that they service.

   HDFFA didn’t accomplish this alone: the Redmond and Madras farmers markets hosted the Grow & Give program all summer; the existing non-profit, Seed to Table, planted, grew, harvested and donated over 2,000 pounds of fresh produce; and HDFFA implemented and hosted Grow & Give booths at both the NW Crossing and downtown Bend farmers markets.

   These combined efforts resulted in not only reaching our 8,000 pound goal but exceeding it by 1,236 pounds. Carly Sanders, NeighborImpact Food Bank Manager stated that, “Fresh, local food donations allow our partner agencies and the clients they serve, access to a greater assortment of produce that might not be otherwise available through current food purchasing means. The food is fresher, goes out to service sites quickly, and therefore provides highly nutritious options for Central Oregonians in need – and tastes great, too!”

   We want to thank the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation and the Schwemm Family Foundation for their generous support of our 2016 Grow and Give program, the 13 farmers that donated excess produce at the end of the market day, consumers who purchased extra produce at a local market and donated it to our efforts, and of course our incredible volunteers.

   Jess Weiland, HDFFA Food and Farm Director, adds that, “The Grow and Give program mitigates food waste, gives gardeners and farmers a chance to grow and donate extra produce, and increases awareness of food access issues in our community.”

   The High Desert Food & Farm Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit serving Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties. Our organization’s mission is to support a community-based food system in Central Oregon by increasing access to fresh healthy food, supporting sustainable farm land use and fostering relationships among farmers and consumers. HDFFA is passionate about the importance healthy eating which includes giving food bank recipients the option to choose fresh, local produce as much as possible.

   For additional information visit www.hdffa.org.

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