Do you find yourself with an abundance of tomatoes or a garden overflowing with zucchini? When it comes to giving back through food donations, many people think of donating canned or dried goods, but hunger relief organizations also value fresh fruits and vegetables. Just imagine the impact you can have by extending your generosity beyond your pantry and sharing your homegrown produce with your community!
Donating Fresh Garden Produce
Connect with Fresh Food Connect
Imagine creating a stronger and more resilient local food system, where gardeners like yourself can truly make a difference. Fresh Food Connect, a mission-driven organization, has developed an app that connects gardeners with hunger relief organizations in their communities. By using the Fresh Food Connect app to schedule donations of your homegrown produce, you can ensure that your excess fruits and vegetables reach those in need.
Find Local Food Pantries
AmpleHarvest.org provides a valuable resource for gardeners who want to contribute fresh produce. Their interactive map, “Find a Pantry to Donate Food,” allows you to easily locate nearby food pantries that accept fresh produce in your area.
Another option is Freedges, community refrigerators serving as hubs for food sharing. These refrigerators gladly accept various food items, including fresh produce, prepackaged baked goods, and labeled home-cooked meals. Visit “Find a Freedge” to discover the location of a community fridge near you.
Locating Food Banks and Food Pantries
Feeding America, the largest food bank network in the United States, possesses an extensive network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food distribution sites. They distribute an incredible 4.3 billion meals each year. Make use of their interactive map to find your local food bank and learn how you can donate, receive assistance, or volunteer.
If you reside near one of the ten Midwest Food Bank locations across the country, you can donate directly to a Midwest food bank.
For additional options, Foodpantries.org is an excellent resource to find food pantries and soup kitchens in your local community. WhyHunger also helps connect individuals with food pantries through their phone helpline or by sending a text with your zip code. Please note that WhyHunger’s focus is on helping food-insecure populations, so not all the listed food pantries may accept donations.
FoodFinder offers an interactive map to locate food pantries and provides detailed contact information, services offered, and operating hours.
Exploring Non-Traditional Options
Consider supporting Little Free Pantries, which are small donation spaces where people can give what they can and take what they need. These pantries are perfect for donating small amounts of nonperishable foods and personal care products. You can find these little free pantries in your community by using the interactive map provided by the Mini Pantry Movement.
Food not Bombs, a food rescue organization, aims to combat hunger by distributing vegan and vegetarian meals to communities in need. Visit their website to find a Food not Bombs location near you and contribute to their cause.
Other Resources for Hunger Relief
The Homeless Shelters Directory offers information on homeless shelters, food pantries, and soup kitchens organized by state. This directory serves as a valuable tool for locating and donating food to those experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness.
Swipe out Hunger, a national organization, focuses on reducing hunger among college students. You can find colleges partnered with Swipe out Hunger on their website. They also organize events like “The Swipe Drive” to collect food donations.
Imagine the Impact: One Extra Plant at a Time
Just think about the difference we could make if every gardener planted just one extra plant to share. It may seem small, but the collective impact would be tremendous. Families experiencing food insecurity in our own communities would have access to an abundant source of fresh, healthy produce. The Fresh Food Connect mobile app makes it easy to connect with local hunger relief programs, manage your donations, and track your impact throughout the season. So why wait? Make a difference today – download the app and share your harvest!