AmpleHarvest.org – Connecting Gardeners with Surplus to Food Pantries
Ever have an amazing season or a very fruitful tree? More apples or zucchini than you can eat? Too many eggs from your backyard chickens? A quick stroll around our neighborhood and it is clear to see how you can have too much of a good thing. Trees dripping with oranges, limes and lemons, even persimmons! Much more than any one family and their friends could consume fresh.
You have probably thought about donating some of your bounty to a local food bank before but weren’t sure how or asked only to discover they are not able to take your goods. I have good news! I just discovered AmpleHarvest.org (http://www.ampleharvest.org/) which is making it easier to connect with organizations that will welcome your extra vegetables and fruit. Through their site you can search for groups near you accepting such donations. They have almost 4000 organizations in their network across all 50 states. Your hard work won’t go to waste and you can feel some satisfaction that you are helping others. If you are concerned about liability should someone become ill after eating something you donate, don’t. According to the FAQs on Ample Harvest, “You are protected by the Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act signed during the Clinton administration. The Act is intended to encourage donations of food to nonprofit organizations while providing the donor with “Good Samaritan” protection. You are provided protection from criminal and civil liability providing you did not exhibit gross negligence. The text of the act is at www.usda.gov/news/pubs/gleaning/appc.htm”
So once you’ve eaten your fill and given as much as you can to friends and family, think about donating the rest to a local food bank. AmpleHarvest.org is a great place to see who in your area you can give to!
Too many people go hungry and have no access to fresh produce. We can help change that. Spread awareness with gardeners and encourage more local food pantries to sign up. The more connections the better. To help, AmpleHarvest.org has provided pdf fliers you can print (or email) to post at local garden centers, community centers and food banks. They also have images you can use on your site to help spread the word.