AmpleHarvest.org is an online registry for food pantries that allows backyard gardeners and farmers across America to donate their excess harvest (or produce they actually planted to share!) to hungry people in their communities.
As you all know, I'm totally into sustainable living and it doesn't get much more sustainable than people growing food on their own land to feed themselves and neighbors. (..especially if they're growing it organically!) Not only is it better for the planet, but fresh produce provides essential vitamins and minerals often missing from the diets of people who depend on the canned and processed foods usually found at food pantries to sustain them.
The sad reality is there are approximately 17.2 million households in America that are "food insecure" (a fancy term coined by the government to replace the uncomfortable term "hunger") meaning they don't always know where the next meal is coming from. 17.2 million! I look at our son and can't bear the thought of anyone being hungry, especially a child.
I have seen and experienced firsthand the value that food pantries and soup kitchens provide for hungry people in need. It is a sobering and life changing experience to see humble gentle souls stand in line for a meal or for food to bring home to their families. It's surely a cause that's near and dear to my heart and so I hope this holiday season to raise funds to help expand the reach of AmpleHarvest.org.
There's a lot to be done to ensure the over 30,000 food pantries in America register with AmpleHarvest.org so the 40+ million gardeners in the country can find them. That's a lot of fresh produce that can reach a lot of hungry people. I know we've got a lot of generous friends and family that can help make it happen!
While our family donates fresh produce to local food pantries, once it's gone, it's gone. By donating dollars to help keep the AmpleHarvest.org campaign going, we know the value of those dollars will be tremendously compounded. Once a gardener in town finds out he or she can bring extra produce to a food pantry, that becomes a constant source of donations for years to come!
We held a family meeting and decided to do this thing! We hope you can set aside a few dollars to help out. It's as simple as forgoing an extra Starbucks, take out once a month, a six-pack of coldies or any other of the many other little extras we spend our money on regularly without really thinking about it. Zach let us know he's got enough toys and would like to share the loot that would have gone towards more to help hungry kids get bananas. We think he's onto something. Everyone can make a difference.
Suzie, Chris & Zachary