It is ironic that California produces the largest bounty of agricultural products consumed in the US, and yet, 4.7 million of our residents live in poverty and often don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. A solution to this problem was developed 24 years ago by farmers in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties when they realized that 20 percent of their product was going to waste. They collectively decided to create an agricultural nonprofit organization known today as Ag Against Hunger to collect and distribute all of their surplus produce.
Ag Against Hunger’s primary function is to prevent the waste of fresh vegetables and fruit. Instead of disking full fields of produce or paying fees to get rid of harvested product, producers choose to contact Ag Against Hunger to distribute the produce to food banks.
The organization is still supported by its founding community of local farmers, which provides board members along with financial assistance and, of course, produce. Since 1990, Ag Against Hunger has distributed over 212 million pounds of fruits and vegetables to help our local food bank partners across California.
To learn more about us, please visit our website. We look forward to seeing you on Facebook and/or Twitter, or even at a produce gleaning session!
This is the first in a series of blog posts to highlight December as Farm to Food Bank Month – an initiative by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Association of Food Banks to double farm contributions to food banks by 2015.