Avoiding Food Waste: From Garden to (Food) Pantry

In the United States, there are over 32,000 food pantries working to supply people in need with food while also reducing the one-third of food produced that ends up getting wasted. 

Food pantries are largely supplied by regional food banks which rely on food donations from grocery stores, bakeries and community food drives. Donations of dry/canned foods, prepared foods, and baked items are more common and plentiful, but fresh produce is often under-supplied. At the same time, more than 61 million people nationwide grow vegetables, fruit, and herbs at home, much of which does not get harvested and consumed.

A national company called Ample Harvest is making it easier to donate produce by connecting gardeners with food pantries. To find a local food pantry that accepts donations, visit Ample Harvest’s website. For more information about how certain fruits and vegetables provide health benefits to the community, as well instructions on storing and preparing produce, visit ProducePedia. Gardeners are encouraged to print out an info sheet for every donated item to better help food recipients utilize the donation. 

If you grow produce and find yourself with more than is needed, donate your abundance to a local food pantry. More information can be found here.  

Note: The California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act legally protect food donors from assuming any liability resulting from good faith acts of donation.