Food pantries are often “under the radar”–they do not have a web site, signs on the front door, or a phone book listing. That is why we created AmpleHarvest.org, to make it possible for growers to find a pantry in their neighborhood.
If we do not list a pantry in your area, please help us find one. How? See if a place of worship or other civic organization in your community has one. Call your regional food bank (www.feedingamerica.org can help you find it) and ask them if they can help you.
Once you do find one, contact them to see if they’ll accept your produce. ALSO, please ask them to visit www.AmpleHarvest.org or print out www.AmpleHarvest.org/downloads/pantry.pdf and give it to them. You can also ask them to contact the other nearby food pantries to let them know about AmpleHarvest.org. If they are not Internet savvy, you may want to help them register on AmpleHarvest.org.
Once they are registered, the next backyard gardener in your area looking to share their bounty will not experience the problems you did.
First and foremost, see if they have a preferred delivery day of the week and time of day listed. It is important to adhere to the pantries scheduling information if they provide it to make it easier on their operations. If no day/time is listed, call or email them to find out when they would like you to deliver the produce.
On the day of your planned delivery, harvest your crops in the early morning while they still have some of the coolness of the evening air. If they have dew, wipe them dry with a paper towel. Each item should be visually inspected for serious bruising, insect damage, and ripeness. Do not donate produce that you would not feed your own family. Produce that is overripe, has mushy spots, or is seriously blemished should either be made into a soup, stew, or go into a compost pile but not donated. (Note, if you used any pesticide on your garden, please take the time to clean each piece of produce as recommended by the pesticide manufacturer on the label before you let anyone eat it.)
Next, unless they have given you other instructions, package your produce in paper supermarket bags and take them to the pantry at the requested time. If you find the pantry convenient to get to, you can continue to share your produce with them through the rest of the growing season. Alternatively, you may decide to go back to AmpleHarvest.org next time and select a different pantry – spreading your produce over several pantries.
You can click here to print out a donation slip with a QR code on it. This slip will let the pantry know that you found them through AmpleHarvest.org. It also has tax-deductible information on it!
Whichever way you choose to do it, it will be greatly appreciated. Lastly, please remember to let your fellow gardeners know about AmpleHarvest.org, so they can share the bounty of their garden at their harvest time. You can send us a photo of your donation at [email protected]!
Remember, the key thing is that food should not be wasted, especially when so many Americans are having a hard time feeding their families.
Your bounty, large or small, will help to diminish hunger in America.
Please click here for a number of recommended links to help you grow a healthy garden.
There is no need to identify yourself if you don’t want to, simply sign it with your initials and your city and state.
Please make every effort to inform the pantry about AmpleHarvest.org. The key to success of the movement is to have as many food pantries as possible listed on the site.
You can visit the pantry and suggest that they go to www.AmpleHarvest.org to list their pantry. If they do not have Internet access, print out the pantry flier and give it to them. They may need your help to actually do the registration, but please do not register them yourself without their knowledge. Please remind them that there is absolutely no cost or obligations involved with listing on AmpleHarvest.org.