Knowing Your Roots

Posts tagged ‘Field to Food Bank’

Thoughts for Food: Are we wasting the bounty we produce?

Blog 36

The harvest season is now in full swing in Wisconsin’s Central Sands. Potatoes, sweet corn, green beans, carrots, cucumbers and beets are rolling up the harvester chains and into trucks for the short journey to Wisconsin’s processing and distribution centers and then onward to consumers across the US and beyond.  Another record season seems within reach in 2013 thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of the farmers—and with some help from generous early season rains!  With some Central Sands potato growers surpassing 30 tons per acre (that’s more than 3,000 ten pound bags per acre), increased productivity has held overall production close to that achieved a decade ago when 28% more acres of potatoes were grown. (more…)

Sharing the Bounty—Part One, Wisconsin Vegetable Growers and Processors Join Together to Feed the Hungry

Blog 8Each year in the United States, over 160 billion pounds of food is wasted.  Un-harvested food crops account for about twenty billion pounds of this waste, with vegetable crops accounting for about 18%. In Wisconsin, growers and processors of vegetables are actively working to cut food waste on the farm by diverting excess production to area food banks to help feed the hungry. This is hard to achieve with large volumes of fresh produce which has a limited shelf life but, in a unique partnership with the Field to Food Bank program, Wisconsin’s processing vegetable industry, ranked 1st in the US, is helping to fill local food pantries with quality canned vegetables. “Being able to address ‘the last mile’ in food delivery is critically important to get food to those who need it “says Jed Colquhoun, from the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, “and our food processing industry has led the way in making it happen.”

Carrots became the first success story in 2011 when an unusually high yield led to 40 acres of excess carrots for a grower in central Wisconsin. The grower donated the carrots to Field to Food Bank, and the industry quickly united to solve the logistical hurdlesa harvester was found with trucks to move the crop to a nearby processing plant, cans were donated, and 450,000 pounds of delicious carrots were on their way to hungry families across the state. Field to Food Bank has now expanded to include sweet corn, snap beans, potatoes, and onions with the Wisconsin vegetable growers and processors becoming an integral part of this statewide program that provides food to those who need it most.

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