40% of food that is grown, processed, and transported will never be consumed.
That's perfectly healthy food that could feed the hungry.
You've probably seen one of our fleet of Food Shuttle trucks on the road. Every day, Food Shuttle staff drivers and volunteers recover food from retailers, markets, wholesalers, farmers, and community food drives. 80% of this food is immediately distributed to partner pantries, soup kitchens, institutional kitchens, and other human service agencies, never seeing our small warehouse. Over the course of a year, 6 million pounds of recovered food is distributed to those in need - and 42% of that is fresh produce.
We recover food from over 350 food donors, including:
- Harris Teeter
- BJ's Warehouse
- US Foods
- Individual food drives and donations
- Sam's Club
- Trader Joe's
- Fords Produce
- NC State Farmers Market
Not all food that we distribute, however, is donated. Some of our programs such as BackPack Buddies and School Pantries require so much food on a weekly basis, and a consistent quality of food, that we must make food purchases to keep up with the demand. Fortunately, as a Feeding America Food Bank, our purchasing power is greater than the average retail customer: we can provide 2.5 meals for every dollar donated.
How you can help
The idea is simple. We can feed the hungry with what is left in the field.
The excess production of area farms is a rich source of fresh, healthy produce. Our field gleaning program connects farmers who have excess crops with people who need fresh produce.
We bring a farmer- trained volunteer crew right into the field. We harvest the produce, and then distribute it to people in need in our seven-county area.
Anyone can volunteer at a field gleaning. Our age policy is designed to ensure that we have an able group of gleaners, while also allowing young children the opportunity to discover where their food comes from.
- Age 6 and under: 1 adult per child
- Age 7 to 11: 1 adult per group of 3 children
- Age 12 to 18: 1 adult per group of 10
Farmers: How to Donate Crops
Become a partner in hunger relief by hosting a gleaning! Little of your time is required, and we treat your land with respect and care. Bonus: your donation is tax deductible.
If you want gleaners to visit your farm, contact Janny Chappell at Janny@foodshuttle.org.
plant a row for the hungrY
Plant a Row for the Hungry is a national program created by The Garden Writers Association that encourages garden communities and individuals to donate fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs to people in need. The Food Shuttle is the Plant a Row partner in the Triangle, distributing your home-grown produce to local food pantries, shelters, and other hunger-relief organizations. Just one pound of your fresh produce supplements four meals. In 2015, 30,000 pounds of fresh produce were donated through our partner, Logan's Garden Shop.
For any questions about Plant a Row, contact Janny Chappell: Janny@FoodShuttle.org or sign up at Logan's Garden Shop.
We cannot accept produce grown with animal manure not composted to USDA Organic standards or sprayed with pesticides within two weeks of harvest.