From Lisa Ousley, ATH Executive Director: I’m delighted to share our 2017 annual report to update you on the progress of After the Harvest in achieving last year’s goals of providing more healthy food to hungry people. We set a stretch goal in 2017 of increasing our produce donations by nearly two million pounds in a single year, and we not only exceeded that goal but we were also able to increase the variety of produce that make up those pounds.
But our story doesn’t end with a successful year. At After the Harvest, our mission of rescuing nutritious fruits and vegetables from going to waste and donating them to food banks and agencies serving hungry people has never been more important.
Budget discussions happening now in Washington include proposed changes to the SNAP program (formerly known as food stamps). The proposals, according to the Food Research and Action Center, “will replace in significant part the very successful current system of having SNAP recipients use EBT cards to purchase food through grocery stores, supermarkets, farmers markets, and other normal commercial channels with…a system of commodity distribution via (shelf stable) food boxes.” The boxes would not include fresh fruits and vegetables.
In a time when government budget proposals and related rhetoric threaten to eliminate the dignity of choice and cut fresh produce from the diets of food insecure families, children and seniors, we need to work harder to do more. Will you help in 2018?
- Volunteer to glean fields and orchards this May through November.
- Donate to help bring in more truckloads of tomatoes, green beans and cantaloupe, as we continue provide produce from warmer climates.
- Spread the word! We need more friends and supporters like you who will make this mission their own.
I ask you to stand with us, glean with us and help us provide more fresh food for our hungry neighbors in need. Remember, nourishing food is a right, not a luxury.