AmpleHarvest.org has received backing and support from the USDA, Google Inc., Feeding America and food banks nationwide as well as major faith-based organizations. It has been highlighted on the White House web site, PBS’s “Growing A Greener World” as well as the CNN Heroes program.
AmpleHarvest.org enables gardeners to find a food pantry near them and then view the pantries’ desired day/time for receiving donations. AmpleHarvest.org also displays personalized driving instructions to the pantry as well as (if provided) a photograph of the pantry – making it easier to find. For the benefit of gardeners during a non-growing season or anyone else interested in making a donation, AmpleHarvest.org also provides pantries the opportunity to list store bought items that they need.
Our vision is an America where millions of gardeners eliminate malnutrition and hunger in their own communities. We are accomplishing this by educating, encouraging and enabling growers, nationwide, to donate their excess harvest to the needy in their community instead of allowing it to rot in the garden. Our message to America is: No Food Left Behind.
Although there are a number of excellent programs that help farmers and community gardens get produce to food banks, AmpleHarvest.org is the only program in America that is solving hunger and malnutrition by moving information instead of moving food to help local gardeners find neighborhood food pantries. AmpleHarvest.org, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN #27-2433274).
Food Banks are large-scale operations that collect and distribute food and other household items to local food pantries, soup kitchens, etc. Food Pantries* are local walk-in facilities where families in need go to get food. The typical food pantry operates out of a local house of worship, school, or other civic building. Most of the foods distributed by the pantries are packaged, canned or dry goods. Refrigeration is usually limited to dairy items such as milk and cheese. Produce is rarely available.
*Note: In some parts of the country, what we are calling a “food pantry” is instead referred to as a “food shelf”, “food closet”, “food cupboard”, “food share” or even “food bank”. For the sake of simplicity, AmpleHarvest.org uses only the terms “Food Bank” and “Food Pantry”.
Backyard gardeners, however, can harvest their produce and deliver it to the pantry on the same day. Furthermore, if the pantry client’s pick up the produce that same day, they will benefit from eating food that is even fresher than what can be purchased at a food store.
AmpleHarvest.org exists to ensure that the extra produce gets to food pantries instead of being left to rot in the garden.
Not everyone gardens and gardeners do not garden all the time. Food pantries need fresh produce – but they also need a variety of store bought items all year long.
Pantries are encouraged to add information to their AmpleHarvest.org page listing store bought items they are most in need of (they may also list items they don’t need!). If the pantry you found has listed store bought items they need, buy what you can afford on your next shopping trip (or check your kitchen cabinets) and drop them off at the pantry at the day/time they listed for donations. The free AmpleHarvest.org iPhone app and Android apps were designed to help you find a food pantry when you are not near your computer… such as when you are shopping.
Please check the expiration date on the items you are bringing to the pantry (from your home or from a store). Even canned goods expire. Food pantries do not distribute, and will dispose of food past its expiration date.
Although there are already 7602 food pantries across all 50 states already registered on AmpleHarvest.org, the key to the continued success of AmpleHarvest.org is increasing the public awareness of the effort.
As more pantries AND gardeners learn about it, more food will find its way from backyard gardens to the kitchens of those who need it most.
You can help in two equally important ways.
- Visit www.AmpleHarvest.org/local to see the 4 simple steps you can take to make sure your community is taking full advantage of what AmpleHarvest.org is doing in the rest of America.
- You can help to sustain AmpleHarvest.org’s efforts by making a monetary contribution. Donations of $1,000 or more earn a special listing on the AmpleHarvest.org site (and our eternal gratitude). However, any contribution, large or small, one time or recurring is greatly appreciated and will help AmpleHarvest.org diminish hunger in America. AmpleHarvest.org, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN #27-2433274)
The AmpleHarvest.org web site is designed to help food pantries in your community, where you can get food assistance, get garden fresh produce from local gardeners.
While we can’t help you directly, we know where you can get help. Please click here to find a registered food pantry in your area where you can get free food as soon as possible. You can also click here to learn about resources available from both WhyHunger.org and United Way.
AmpleHarvest.org is working hard to get healthy, freshly grown food into America’s food pantries. These two organizations can help you find one nearby.