Two Great Inland Northwest Finds: and

I'll be part of a panel for an upcoming conference put on by Inland Northwest Second Harvest. Two of the fellow panelists represent local grass roots groups that I was unaware of before my involvement with the conference.

Backyard Harvest is an organization started in Moscow, ID that promotes gathering, gleaning and growing foods in our backyards for local food banks. They now have chapters in Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, CA and Minneapolis. It looks like they are geared up to expand and extend their reach. It's a great effort, especially considering that according to one study 40-50% of edible foods are never eaten. Every year US households produce $43 billion worth of food waste.

Fields of Grace is a ministry of a church in Richland, WA where they promote gleaning foods in that rich agricultural region. As it says on their web site;

Begun in 2006 at West Side Church in Richland, WA, Fields of Grace has trained nearly 600 volunteers who have logged nearly 4,000 hours of service to harvest over 185,000 pounds of produce.

In Spokane we have the Plant a Row for the Hungry program where home gardeners are encouraged to plant an extra row in their garden to donate to Second Harvest. In return you get a receipt for $1.50/lb that is tax deductible. Last year they doubled the amount of food received as part of Plant a Row, totaling over 100,000 lbs. How about we shoot for doubling that this year and set a goal of 200,000 lbs? Who's up for it?