Plant-a-row for the hungry

par-poster-logansThe NCDA&CS has many partners, but few have a direct impact on the lives of people in North Carolina like our partnership with hunger relief agencies across the state. From Feeding America Food Banks that are served through commodity deliveries from the Emergency Feeding Assistance Program to transportation help that is given to the Society of St. Andrew to help with gleaning projects when possible, the department plays an important role in the fight against hunger.

The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Raleigh is a leading player in the fight against hunger in central North Carolina. The organization takes leftover food from restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets and redistributes it to people in need. The food shuttle takes more than a million pounds of fresh produce from the State Farmers Market in Raleigh every year. This is produce that would otherwise be thrown into the landfill because it has been bruised or is otherwise unsellable. The food shuttle has processing capabilities to handle large amounts of produce at one time and repackage it to be used by other hunger relief agencies or families.

This year, the food shuttle has expanded its mission to include backyard gardens through the Plant-A-Row program. Through PAR, gardeners are helping to provide fresh produce to families around the area. So far this summer, local gardeners have donated close to 3,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Jill Staton Bullard, the shuttle’s co-founder and executive director, said that this food is being put directly into grocery bags and being distributed to people who need it right away. “Hunger is unacceptable,” she said. “And now everyone can play a part in erasing it.” The food shuttle is also using the fresh produce in Operation Frontline classes where low-income families are taught healthy meal preparation and shopping on a low budget.

If you are a gardener or a farmer in the Raleigh area and have excess produce, consider donating it to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. If you are not in the Raleigh area, contact your local food bank or the Society of St. Andrew.

How to donate to the PAR program:

1. Sign up as a PAR member by e-mailing katherine@foodshuttle.org

2. Drop-off sites and times:

-Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, 1001 Blair Dr., Raleigh  |  Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-Logans Trading Company, 707 Semart Dr., Raleigh |  Saturday 9 a.m. to noon

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