New Report Reveals Home Gardeners’ Huge Influence in Ending Food Waste and Hunger

For the past nine years, there has been an increasing awareness of the issue of the waste of food across the world. Available data previously documented only the “farm to table” loses. What has been missing from the discussion of the problem and potential solutions has been the loss that occurs closer to home – in tens of millions of home and community gardens. AmpleHarvest.org was founded in 2009 to address the issue of that food loss by educating and enabling these gardeners to donate their excess food. Until now, how much of that excess food was available for donation was anybody’s guess.

In 2015/2016 AmpleHarvest.org conducted a survey of nearly 2,500 home and community gardeners. A white paper titled “Stop Wasting Food: Ending Hunger by Donating Excess Garden Produce” authored by Dr. Selena Ahmed and Dr. Carmen Byker Shanks from Montana State University was also released.

Through analysis of this data, it was discovered that gardeners can potentially donate 11.4 billion pounds annually of excess garden produce, valued at $27.3 billion dollars. What’s more is that 4 out of 5 gardeners are willing and able to donate produce to a local food pantry that welcome their excess. AmpleHarvest.org harnesses the power of technology to connect these gardeners with food pantries eager to accept their donations. Produce donations have increased from 8.6 percent to 23 percent since AmpleHarvest.org was founded in 2009. The full results of the survey are available at: http://www.AmpleHarvest.org/study.

On August 17, 2017, the NRDC released their report “Wasted: How America is Losing up to 40 percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill” in it, data from AmpleHarvest.org’s Nationwide Study of Garden Food Waste informs the need for change at the household level.

One of the suggested actions items for consumers listed in the report:

“Share food. Sharing with friends and family not only avoids waste but builds community. This might mean sharing excess entrées, splitting a farm box, or even donating a glut of garden-grown produce.”

“At its core, AmpleHarvest.org is the community in action. It is individuals across our nation sharing the excess bounty of their gardens to help feed their neighbors in need,” notes AmpleHarvest.org founder Gary Oppenheimer.

Historically the food pantries…

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