Did you know that 40% of food in our country goes to waste?
At the same time, right here in our own communities, individuals and families are going to bed hungry or without access to healthy food options. Doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? If you want to do something about this huge problem, here are three ways that you can GET INVOLVED in your community, cut down on your own food bills, and BECOME A FOOD HERO today!
Hungry Harvest is a local business that became known through the show Shark Tank. The founder, a University of Maryland graduate, made it his mission to source and deliver boxes of recovered produce to customers on a weekly and bi-weekly basis. What exactly is recovered produce? Its fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be thrown away because they are not pretty (“discolored apples or misshapen eggplants”) or over-stock. I should mention that ugly food is just as nutritious!
Hungry Harvest offers a variety of deliverable Recovery Boxes. Their Mini Recovery Box is stocked with 5-7.5 lbs. of produce, including 1 leafy green, 3-4 types of vegetables and 2-3 types of fruit, and is appropriate for 1-2 people. The cost is $15. You also have the option of ‘add-ons’ such as Atwater’s bread loafs (they even offer their tasty gluten-free variety), McLeaf’s apple cider, a bag of Michelle’s granola (delicious!), or a variety of mini-pumpkins.
The best part is that for every box that is delivered, Hungry Harvest donates 1-2 pounds of produce through one of their donation partners or through a farmer’s market. Check out their website to get your first recovery box.
Gather’s Blue Bag program offers a bag of food with enough produce to keep a family of 4 stocked for the week. The food varies and is ever-changing based on donations from local food suppliers and unsold items from the JFX Sunday Farmer’s Market. For just a $7 donation, you can pick one up at their Sisson Street warehouse or other pop-up locations (they also deliver to some communities and organizations).
Furthermore, there are several opportunities for you and your family to volunteer with Gather. From prepping Blue Bags at their warehouse, collecting food from the farmer’s market, to gleaning and sorting produce from nearby farms. It can be a lot of fun for kids, too. For more information about volunteering or to see their pick-up schedule, check out their Facebook page.
Nourish’s Food Drive for The Arc
Nourish has partnered with The Ark, the only state-accredited preschool for children whose families are experiencing homelessness in Baltimore City. The school serves children ages 3 and 4 years old whose families are homeless and/or in the early stages of addiction recovery. Nourish dietitians will be providing parents and staff of The Ark with an educational presentation and cooking demonstration of kid-friendly, healthy foods.
Children who experience chronic hunger can hindered cognitive development, behavioral and long term health issues. To help combat this, The Ark has a small food pantry that is available to these families with young children who are experiencing homelessness.
We are pleased to announce that Nourish clients donated over 50 pounds of food during our food drive in 2016 – thank you!
As you can see, these are just a few of the ways you can become a food hero right here in Baltimore. Please leave a comment and let us know how you give back to our community.