Nelson County, Virginia
So what does 40,000 pounds of white potatoes look like all in one place? Just take a look at these pictures our Ben Hernandez got shots of Saturday, and you will know. Just after daybreak the load was dropped on the parking lot of Nelson United Methodist Church as part of a project sponsored by Society of St. Andrews in Big Island, Virginia. Their goal is to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need or hungry.
The potatoes were bagged into 5, 10 and 50 pound bags, then transferred to relief agencies like The Blue Ridge Food Bank who distribute them throughout the area.
Most of the bagging was complete by noon with many of the potatoes hitting family tables by Saturday night in time for supper.
Around 100 volunteers were expected to help out with the bagging,
The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) is a national faith-based nonprofit hunger relief organization. It’s national headquarters are in Central Virginia (Big Island), where it was founded 30 years ago. SoSA is the largest gleaning organization in the nation. With the help of 30,000-40,000 volunteers each year SoSA gleans 20-40 million pounds of excess fresh produce every year and donates it to food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other critical feeding agencies. Gleaning in farm fields and orchards is done in 20 states and SoSA delivers bulk loads (Potato Drops) of donated produce, primarily potatoes, to all 48 contiguous states. Since it began gleaning, the Society of St. Andrew has saved more than half a billion pounds of perfectly good, fresh produce that would have gone to waste because it was not commercially marketable — it was left in fields after the harvest or it was culled out because it was the wrong shape, size, color or had minor blemishes. This food would have rotted in the fields or been dumped in landfills, but instead, it provided 1.7 billion servings of nourishing food to the nation’s hungry. Learn more about the Society of St. Andrew and how you can help bridge the gap between perfectly good food that goes to waste and the hungry who don’t have enough to eat: http://www.endhunger.org.