Two Birds with One Stone: Fighting Both Food Waste and Hunger

From foodtank.com, by Clare Algozin
Two Birds with One Stone: Fighting Both Food Waste and Hunger

The mission of AmpleHarvest.org is to reduce food waste. By connecting gardeners to their local food pantries, the organization is working to ensure that excess garden bounty can be shared with those in need. AmpleHarvest.org works to make it easy for the more than 40 million Americans growing food in home or community gardens to find a food pantry in their community that desperately needs fresh food to distribute to hungry families.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Gary Oppenheimer, Founder and Executive Director of AmpleHarvest.org.

Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?

Gary Oppenheimer (GH): AmpleHarvest.org is making locally grown fresh food available for the first time to nearly 7,500 food pantries, soup kitchens and similar programs across all 50 states by educating, encouraging and enabling America’s 42 million home and community gardeners to donate their excess garden produce instead of letting it go to waste. For many of America’s 50 million food insecure people, this is the only fresh food they have access to.

FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of?

GH: AmpleHarvest.org. It is a solution to a problem that no one knew existed – the loss of more than five billion pounds of food in home and community gardens nationwide.

FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?

GH: In 2015, we hope to expand AmpleHarvest.org’s food print by growing the number of food pantries benefiting from locally grown food by 20 percent and by continuing to expand our awareness horizon to more growers nationwide.

FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?

GH: Stop the waste of food.

FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?

GH: Most importantly, make a contribution to support our work. Then visit our website to get AmpleHarvest.org “activated” in your community.

Download the 2015 Good Food Org Guide HERE.

Submit your suggestions for the 2015 guide HERE.