Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series
What they do: AmpleHarvest.org provides a digital platform for backyard and community gardeners to learn about and then connect with local food pantries. Growers sometimes find that they have grown more produce than they are able to eat, preserve, or share with friends and family. Often, this leads to food waste, as the produce is thrown away, added to compost, or simply left in the garden to rot. AmpleHarvest.org enables growers and food pantries to arrange donations that reduce food waste and feed the millions of Americans suffering from food insecurity. The program also benefits the environment, improves the nutritional quality of food at 1 out of every 4 food pantries in America and creates community engagement. AmpleHarvest.org also provides resources and collaborations that help other hunger and food waste programs nationwide.
How they do it: Food pantries can register on the website free of charge thereby enabling local home/community gardeners to find them. It further enables the gardeners to donate the food on specific days/times so that the food can be harvested, donated and then taken home on a same day basis thereby eliminating the need for refrigeration and storage at the food pantry. As a 50 state program gardeners have access to the entire database of food pantries making the donation process simple and efficient on a nationwide scale. Additionally, by listing their specific needs, pantries can provide information to the gardeners that more closely aligns their needs with gardener resources and expectations.
Mission: “AmpleHarvest.org diminishes the waste of food and therefore hunger in America by educating, encouraging and enabling gardeners to donate their excess harvest to the needy in their community instead of allowing it to rot in the garden.”
Latest project/campaign: N/A
Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: AmpleHarvest.org connects 42 million growers with 8,096 food pantries across all 50 states. Growers have donated hundreds of millions of pounds of fresh, locally grown produce to food pantries since 2009.
Headquartered in New Jersey, operates in all 50 states virtually.
AmpleHarvest.org: The core program, which educates and enables home and community gardeners to donate excess produce to local food pantries.
Survey Analyzing Garden Food Loss: A two year survey of over 2,500 home and community gardeners that studied food waste and donation opportunities.
Food Waste Weekend: An educational program for clergy of all faiths that helps them spread the word about food waste to their congregations.
Number of staff: 5
Number of volunteers: N/A
Areas Served: National
Year Started: 2009
Director: Gary Oppenheimer