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If you don't have time to read this go to one of these websites or copy and paste this whole blog into an email and send it to your friends and ask them to send it to their friends and hopefully everyone will be able to help our food pantries. See these websites for action in America -- not just one state of the Union the entire United States of America.
Two Looks at Hunger in America
It is not news that the economy, although recovering, remains difficult for many people. What might be surprising is how many of your neighbors are now “food insecure” – a fancy government term for hungry. The statistic from before the recession was that 36 million people were receiving some type of assistance for food. Now it has grown to more than 50 million people or about 18% of the US population.
The number food insecure people in America exceeds the populations of Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia - added together.
The place where families usually get food assistance is called a “food pantry” – most often a small room in a neighborhood building such as a house of worship or similar setting. They are typically supplied by regional food banks, sometimes local grocery stores and the generosity of the people in the neighborhood. They usually have shelves containing dry packed or canned foods, juices, and other household necessities. There may be a refrigerator with dairy products and other perishables at the pantry.However, fresh produce is almost never available. It does not have to be that way.
It is not news that the economy, although recovering, remains difficult for many people.
Even before the economic problems started, many Americans enjoyed growing fruits and vegetables in their backyard gardens. They got pleasure from being outdoors while also having a supply of fresh food for the table.
Now, more than 40 million people, including some driven by economic uncertainty, are gardening in their backyards as well as in community gardens.
For many, it can feel like forever while they wait for their garden to start producing tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, squash, etc. But once they start harvesting their crops, it often comes with a vengeance.
The typical backyard gardener will consume as much of their harvest as possible, can, preserve or pickle some, and then share more with their friends and neighbors. Yet in many cases, the harvest continues.
The rest often ends up left to rot in the garden, put in the compost pile, or worse, tossed into the garbage, contributing to climate change.
It does not have to be that way.Millions of Americans grow more food in their home gardens than they can possibly use, preserve or give to friends.One out of six Americans needs food assistance, but the local food pantry usually can’t provide fresh produce.
These backyard gardeners would be happy to share some of their harvest with a neighborhood food pantry but usually can’t because the pantries are often hard to find - many not having a web site or even a phone number.
To address this situation, the AmpleHarvest.org(?) Campaign has been established with the goal of enabling America’s backyard gardeners to quickly find local food pantries in need of fresh produce.
The AmpleHarvest.org web site enables a food pantry to register its name, address, phone, and other information including an optional photo of the building to make it easy to find. It also accepts information on the days and hours gardeners’ donations will be accepted. Food pantries can also list store bought items they need, helpful to users of our free Ample Harvest iPhone and Android apps.
Gardeners with extra garden produce as well as other donors simply enter their address or zip code to view all registered food pantries within the distance they are willing to travel. AmpleHarvest.org can also display a map and detailed driving instructions for the donor.
The AmpleHarvest.org campaign is a grass roots effort and has the support of the US Department of Agriculture, Google.com, VFW, Rotary International, Garden Writers of America, National Gardening Association, National Council of Churches and many other organizations. Everyone involved has donated their time and talent. Nearly one out of every ten food pantries in America have already registered. AmpleHarvest.org is free of charge both for food pantries and gardeners. You Can Help Diminish Hunger in America
If you know of a food pantry in your community, you can help diminish hunger by giving www.AmpleHarvest.org/pantry to the pantry manager. Remind them that AmpleHarvest.org is totally free. There are more than 33,000 food pantries in America... nearly every community has at least one.
If you are, or are friends with a backyard gardener, a local farmer, garden club or community garden member, you can help diminish hunger in their community by sharing www.AmpleHarvest.org/gardener with them. Also ask your local garden shop to post www.AmpleHarvest.org/gardenshop
An estimated 100 billion pounds of food – enough to totally eliminate hunger in this country, is thrown away annually. It does not have to be this way – and you can help change it!
The AmpleHarvest.org campaign diminishes hunger in America by enabling backyard gardeners to share their excess garden produce with neighborhood food pantries.
Copy and paste the following short note into your email and ask them to send it on to their friends.
I recently became aware of a campaign to diminish hunger in America and hope that you can help.
They are *not* asking for money, letter writing or food donations.
Instead, they are asking everyone who knows of a food pantry in their neighborhood (nearby house of worship, civic organization, etc.) to inform the pantry management that nearby backyard gardeners are eager to share their excess fresh garden produce – but they need to first know that a pantry exists in their neighborhood – something that is easily done if the pantry is listed at www.AmpleHarvest.org.
If the pantry manager does not use the Internet, please print out http://www.ampleharvest.org/downloads/pantry.pdf
and give it to them.
General information is also available at http://www.ampleharvest.org/downloads/info.pdf.
Lastly, you can help by forwarding this email to your friends and asking them to do the same as you have.
One out of every six Americans needs food assistance, yet an estimated 100 billion pounds of food, enough to totally eliminate hunger, is thrown away annually in the United States.
It does not have to be this way - and we can all help.
info@AmpleHarvest.org 3-28-11info Tel:AMPLE-6-9880
AmpleHarvest.org, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization