Newfoundland, NJ, July 18, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- AmpleHarvest.org, the national campaign to educate, encourage and enable home and community gardeners to donate their excess garden produce to a nearby food pantry, announces that it is now being included in the US Government employee’s nationwide food drive called “Feds Feed Families.”
Created in 2009 and managed by the USDA, Feds Feed Families is an annual campaign collecting store bought food from federal employees to benefit food banks across the country. Like nearly every other food drive, it has only accepted processed food in jars, cans and boxes. Thanks to this new partnership, government employees will now also be able to donate fresh food to a local food pantry going forward.
According to AmpleHarvest.org Founder and Executive Director Gary Oppenheimer, “This is a huge opportunity for the country since an estimated one million additional growers will now have the choice of donating either store bought food as in the past or the food they’ve grown – or both if they chose.”
Thanks to the support from Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, Congresswoman Michelle Pingree of Maine and the USDA, government workers who happened to be home or community gardeners now have the opportunity to share their excess garden produce with their neighbors in need. More importantly, once they are connected to a local food pantry or soup kitchen that is eager for their fresh food, it’s anticipated that they’ll continue donating from their harvests for the rest of their gardening life.
“Since Uncle Sam is the largest employer in the country, this significantly increases the opportunity for America’s food pantries to offer freshly harvested locally grown food, many for the first time, to millions of hungry families at no additional cost,” noted Oppenheimer.
According to Rep. Pingree, “AmpleHarvest.org has already made it possible for millions of pounds of fresh, locally grown and harvested food to make its way to food pantries that help families struggling to put a meal on the table. This collaboration with the federal government and millions of public employees is going to make it possible for even more Americans to have access to fresh vegetables and fruits, grown and donated by their neighbors. I’m thrilled that this common-sense partnership is going to happen.”
“Here at the USDA, we are very proud of the Feds Feed Families Campaign,” said Anne Alonzo of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service which has been leading the campaign for the past two years. "Feeding those in need is one of the most important things we do at USDA and throughout the rest of the federal government. I'm delighted that our engagement with AmpleHarvest.org which goes back to 2011 now enables us to also help millions of government employees across America donate fresh food to the needy in their community. I encourage everyone who has a green thumb to visit www.AmpleHarvest.org/FFF to find a food pantry in their own community and generously donate whatever fresh food they've grown that they're unable to use. Working together, we can reduce food waste and hunger in America with the healthiest food we have - the bounty of our harvests.”
Home/community gardeners who are employed by the government can visit www.AmpleHarvest.org/FFF
to find a nearby pantry where they can donate fresh food – this year and going forward.
AmpleHarvest.org, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization that diminishes food waste, hunger and malnutrition in America by educating, encouraging and empowering growers to easily find a nearby food pantry eager to receive the excess garden bounty. For more information on the campaign, visit www.AmpleHarvest.org/press or call AMPLE-6-9880 (267-536-9880).
Follow AmpleHarvest.org at twitter.com/AmpleHarvest and at Facebook.com/AmpleHarvest.org.