Through this program, we provide fresh, nutritious, healthy fruits and vegetables to our partner agencies and to families in need. Various partners help us accomplish this.
- Local, state, regional, and even national growers and farmers generously donate produce right from their fields! Upwards of 30% of crops produced are not marketable, but the product is still wholesome and edible. Some farmers package the excess produce for us, while others allow volunteers to “glean” their fields – picking product that otherwise would be discarded.
- Society of St. Andrew, with various branches in Florida and Georgia, helps our mission in several ways – introducing Second Harvest to local farmers who wish to donate, coordinating volunteer gleaning efforts to rescue fresh from the field produce, and by picking up produce and delivering it to those in need in rural counties!
- Community members with backyard gardens, local community gardens and master gardeners also generously donate fresh produce to the food bank! Additionally we grow fresh produce in the Second Harvest garden to provide to our partner agencies.
- Local retail grocers and wholesale stores donate produce at the store level. Stores pull produce from their shelves as the products near their expiration date, but the food is still safe and edible. Our drivers pick up the product in our fleet of refrigerated trucks to help feed families in need.
We pick up excess produce from all of these sources and quickly distribute it to those in need. In 2011, we distributed more than 839,000 pounds of produce, representing 15% of our total distribution.