The AmpleHarvest.org Story

2009

AmpleHarvest.org was founded May 2009 when Gary Oppenheimer saw a need to end the waste of locally grown fresh food AND saw a solution. He then moved on it.

May: AmpleHarvest.org launched after three volunteers (Gary plus two) assembled the www.AmpleHarvest.org web site. Total time from inspiration to national roll out was seven weeks.

Also May, Jonathan Bloom’s “WastedFood.com” creates the first public exposure for AmpleHarvest.org.

June: Google offers AmpleHarvest.org $10,000 per month advertising grant.

August: The National Gardening Association partnered with AmpleHarvest.org to help inform it’s members of the opportunity to donate garden produce.

October: The 1,000th food pantry registered on the site.

December: At the recommendation of United Way, AmpleHarvest.org started providing United Way resource information for needy individuals to came to the site.

2010

January: AmpleHarvest.org released a free iPhone app to making it easier than ever to find a local food pantry.

February: AmpleHarvest.org was invited by the US Department of Agriculture to become a partner organization to the USDA Peoples’ Garden Initiative, a nationwide effort to encourage community gardens that benefit the community and incorporate sustainable practices.

May: AmpleHarvest.org was highlighted on CNN, and AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer named CNN Hero.

August: AmpleHarvest.org was highlighted on the United We Serve web site – to encourage people around America to help add food pantries and inform local gardeners.

Also August: As part of its effort to diminish the environmental impact of food waste, AmpleHarvest.org was listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a food rescue resource.

November: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer was named
Huffington Post’s Greatest Person of the Day.

Also November, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving: AmpleHarvest.org created a Centerpeices for Pantries to encourage people to replace the floral table arrangements on their Thanksgiving tables with one made of whole fruit instead, which would then be donated to a local food pantry the next day.

2011

February: As part of AmpleHarvest.org’s effort to do the most “good” with the least environmental impact, AmpleHarvest.org upgraded to an Internet Service Provider powered 100% by wind power.

March: AmpleHarvest.org was endorsed by the National Council of Churches thereby helping more of the food pantries churches across America learn about and participate the effort.

April: AmpleHarvest.org released its Android app to accompany the previously released iPhone app.

May: AmpleHarvest.org announced a special outreach effort the tornado ravaged Tuscaloosa Alabama “subsequently” JoplMissouri areas) to help improve both the immediate and long term availability of fresh produce for those impacted by the tornado.

Also May :AmpleHarvest.org marked its two year anniversary. Currently, there are 6,997 food pantries across America already registered on AmpleHarvest.org. You can view a nationwide map of all registered food pantries by clicking here.

June: The AmpleHarvest.org web site was completely overhauled to make it even easier to use while giving it a newer, fresher look.

July: The 4,000th food pantry registered at AmpleHarvest.org.

July: AmpleHarvest.org partnered with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative with the common goal of creating a healthier America. While Let’s Move! encourages people to eat healthier food, AmpleHarvest.org actually makes it happen for millions of people who othwise don’t have access to it.

September: Google quadrupled its advertising grant to $480,000 per year as part of their support of AmpleHarvest.org. AmpleHarvest.org was also named top ten finalist the CLASSY Awards program.

October: AmpleHarvest.org won the Glynwood “2011 Wave of the Future” award

Also October: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer was named “Huffington’s Post “Game Changer for 2011”.

November: PBS’s “Growing A Greener World” focusing on AmpleHarvest.org was released to PBS stations nationwide.

December: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer was invited to the White House both for meetings with senior staff and to meet the President.

2012

January: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer was the final speaker at TEDx Manhattan “Changing the Way We Eat”.

February: First Lady Michelle Obama, spoke about AmpleHarvest.org a speech celebrating the first anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative.

March: The domaname AmpleHarvest.com was donated by company branding agency Tungsten Branding, unifying and simplifying the AmpleHarvest.org’s online name recognition.

Also March: AmpleHarvest.org participated a White House conference to participate a conversation about local and regional food systems and the USDA’s Know Your Food, Know Your Farmer Compass.

April: AmpleHarvest.org registered it’s 5,000th food pantry.

May: AmpleHarvest.org was presented at the Brooklyn Food Conference – helping to expand our impact urban centers.

June: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer named winner of the “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” inspired “Community Service Contest“.

July: AmpleHarvest.org participated a White House conference to participate a forum to discuss the important role that community and faith-based social innovators play expanding opportunity and addressing social issues.

August: AmpleHarvest.org participated a White House convening to explore hunger solutions.

September: AmpleHarvest.org participated Ample Harvest Seattle – with special guest Graham Kerr (“The Galloping Gourmet“)

Also September: AmpleHarvest.org was presented to the House of Representatives Washington DC at the invitation of Rep. McGovern.

Also September: AmpleHarvest.org was presented to the Green Initiatives Conference Atlanta Ga.

October: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer was awarded the Elfenworks “Harmony With Hope” award.

November: AmpleHarvest.org was presented to the City of Atlanta – Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, as part of our expansion into urban settings.

2013

January: AmpleHarvest.org was invited by the White House to participate the National Day of Service on the National Mall.

March: AmpleHarvest.org participated the Let’s Move Faith and Communities convening at the White House.

June: AmpleHarvest.org founder is the plenary speaker at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy Athens Greece.

August: AmpleHarvest.org was invited to meet at the Office of the Secretary to discuss inclusion “Feds Feed Families

Also August: AmpleHarvest.org and Gardener’s Supply Company Launch “Pledge-A-Veg” Photo Contest

September: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer” was named “Food Tank Hero” b the food oriented think tank.

October: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer received the “Points of Light” award.

November: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer named “Purpose Prize” fellow.

2014

January: AmpleHarvest.org was named a strategic partner of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative.

March: AmpleHarvest.org was the keynote presentation at Temple University.

March: AmpleHarvest.org was the keynote presentation at Cultivate Iowa.

April: AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer was nominated for the World Food Prize by “father of the Internet” Vint Cerf.

June: AmpleHarvest.org formally incorporated into Feds Feed Families – the US Govt. food drive.

September: AmpleHarvest.org invited to the United Nations General Assembly as part of the UN Zero Hunger Challenge.

October: AmpleHarvest.org was the keynote presentation to the National Conference of Master Gardener State Coordinators

December: AmpleHarvest.org was presented at the “Last Food Mile” conference at University of Pennsylvania and at the Hunter College Food Policy Conference.

2015

March: AmpleHarvest.org was the keynote presentation at Harcum College as part of the urban outreach effort.

April: AmpleHarvest.org was the keynote presentation at Tuskegee University

July: Feds Feeds Families announces AmpleHarvest.org as part of its 2015 campaign

October: AmpleHarvest.org announces the 7,000th food pantry joins the program

November: AmpleHarvest.org presented to the National Conference of Obesity.


AmpleHarvest.org, originally created as a program of Sustainable West Milford (New Jersey) was spawned off April 2010 and became AmpleHarvest.org Inc. – a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (E#27-2433274).

Feedback from reviews, the press as well both the food bank and gardening community has been overwhelmingly positive. The ultimate success will depend upon the number of participating food pantries that help more growers donate food that otherwise would have gone to waste.

Closing thoughts…

    • If you work at a food pantry, please register as soon as possible so that backyard gardeners can easily find you when they harvest their crops
    • If you are a backyard gardener, please be generous with your bounty.
    • Regardless of who you are, please inform any pantries or gardeners you may know about the AmpleHarvest.org campaign.

Although many people are concerned about their own economic situation, AmpleHarvest.org enables Americans to help their neighbors by reaching into their backyards instead of their back pockets.

Sincerely,
Gary Oppenheimer
AmpleHarvest.org Founder
CNN Hero
Master Gardener
Rutgers Environmental Steward