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.
- Lott's Community Garden is a growing and educational facility located just 20 minutes from Tallahassee. Thanks to our close relationship with Lott's, produce harvested by our volunteers is brought back to the warehouse and offered to our community partners at the peak of it's freshness. Our goal this year is to distribute 20,000 pounds of produce from Lott's and you can help. Click here to register for notifications about Lott's work days or here for more information and directions to Lott's. Can't volunteer, but you still want to help? Our annual budget for Lott's is around $3000 and at 15 cents-per-pound, even a small donation goes a long way! Click here to donate to Lott's.
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.