This time of year, the farmer’s market and our backyard gardens (for those of us who are lucky enough to have one!) are absolutely bursting with produce. Tomatoes, eggplant, blackberries, peaches, peppers and a ton of other late summer fruits and vegetables are at their peak season – in other words, it’s a glorious time.
But sometimes, no matter how hard we try and how much we cook, it’s impossible to use up the summer bounty. That’s where Ample Harvest comes in. Founded in 2009 by Gary Oppenheimer, the organization has enabled America’s 42 million home gardeners fight food insecurity and hunger by donating their excess fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts to soup kitchens, food pantries, and other emergency food providers. Too often, food pantries receive an excess of shelf-stable dried goods and non-perishables and not a lot of fresh ingredients. Ample Harvest’s fix is so simple it’s brilliant: create a space for gardeners and food pantries to register online so they can find one another easily.
Got a green thumb and some extra zucchini? Join in Ample Harvest’s initiative. Or inspire others in your Jewish community with Ample Harvest’s Tikkun Olam initiative. Check out their flier created specifically for synagogues. Or if you’re planning or attending a wedding, bar or bat mitzvah, bris, confirmation, oneg, or other Jewish event, use whole fruit instead of flowers for the centerpieces, then donate the remaining fruit at the end.
Ample Harvest’s website says it best: “For hungry families in your community, your backyard/synagogue garden may well be their land of milk and honey.” Find out more at Ample Harvest’s website.