Wisconsin Farmers Helping Wisconsin Families
No one wants to see Wisconsin crops go to waste, especially when there are so many families in need of fresh food. According to Jim Scheuerman of Second Harvest, the need for food in Wisconsin has increased 81% in the last three years — and the supply hasn’t kept pace. To remedy that, Wisconsin farmers, the UW-Madison and Second Harvest have teamed up to ensure that excess fruits and vegetables grown by Wisconsin farmers get into the hands — and onto the tables — of Wisconsin families in need.
In the past, excess crops had to be destroyed or plowed under — leaving farmers feeling empty and frustrated. No longer. Together with Second Harvest and the UW-Madison, Wisconsin farmers are able to contribute their excess crops to food pantries throughout Wisconsin. Jed Colquhoun, UW-Madison Horticulture Professor, says the amount of food that was going to waste was “amazing.” The challenge was to “connect the pieces of the puzzle between the fields and the food bank.” Thus, the birth of the Field-to-Food-Bank initiative — an initiative that helps farmers harvest, transport and process excess crops using a network of volunteers.
In its first year, the Field-to-Food-Banks initiative distributed 450,000 pounds to food banks. This year, it’s expected that number will exceed 1,000,000 pounds. What’s next? Sharing their experience with other food banks and farmers around the nation so they can collaborate and feed hungry families across the nation.
To learn more about this exceptional effort to feed Wisconsin families, watch this video.