AmpleHarvest.org tackles big issues like food waste, hunger, and malnutrition in a most innovative way. I believe it's the most important tool for any gardener!
When I set out to push a STEM agenda in volunteering, I quickly found that the undercurrent that was pulling the whole effort down was stress students feel in homes that are challenged by food. If you aren't eating well, you aren't paying attention at school -- no amount of pushing is going to help.
AmpleHarvest appealed to me as the right approach to take by leveling technology to create a 10x multiple -- each dollar in results in FAR FAR FAR more food being distributed to people in need. This was far better than any other food program I investigated.
The team is driven, hardworking, and extremely cost sensitive. It amazes me to see how far our executive director takes each dollar. This makes being both a donor and a board member the right way to spend my time. If we make AmpleHarvest successful, we don't just solve a food crisis, we solve an education crisis. Awesome.
AmpleHarvest.org is a great organization that very efficiently supports over 7400 pantries nationwide by helping them get healthy and fresh produce to those who desperately need it.
What I like about the organization is that they use internet technology as well as social media to really leverage their reach and effectiveness. This organization provides more value in this area than the mega non profits in the hunger space on a minimal budget that would be comparable to a local single city non profit (probably less than most of those). Their founder is very conscientious about costs and is very diligent about making sure organizational overhead does not get in the way of effectively doing it's job. My only disappointment about Ample Harvest is that it has far less funding than it should. This is definitely an organization worth getting behind.
With so many people in need in America, it hurts to know that so much good food is being thrown out. Now gardeners everywhere are empowered to do something better with their excess produce. The website makes it easy to find a place to donate your food. In fact, the find-a-pantry page is not just used by gardeners, but a variety of individuals and groups - from people in need of food assistance, to corporations that have food to donate, and even other nonprofits concerned with hunger. Thank you, AmpleHarvest.org!
Its amazing when someone finds a solution that seems so simple yet no one has put it into place. AmpleHarvest.org is like that. Simple: a gardener has too many cucumbers (tomatoes, etc.), goes to AmpleHarvest.org on the Web, finds their local pantry, and takes their excess produce to the pantry. Voila! Fresh food for those in need; the gardener feels great about making a difference. No waste. No trucks. Amazing. AmpleHarvest.org founder, staff, and board are tireless workers. This is a charity worth supporting and worth watching.
I became acquainted with AmpleHarvest.org after we filmed an episode featuring the work they do. I'm the Exec. Producer and host of Growing a Greener World. We were impressed! Founder Gary Oppenheimer is passionate about making this organization accessible to growers and those in need of fresh produce. After experiencing his boundless enthusiasm and his genuine desire to help end hunger, I wanted to help beyond just airing the episode to a national audience. Little did I know that would include an invitation by Gary to serve on the Board. I've received several invitations to serve on other boards, but this is the first one I've ever accepted. I've now served for about a year. In that time, I've been impressed by every aspect of their mission and efforts to help spread awareness for what they do, along with how to reach an even greater audience. Currently, they're still a lean organization with great capacity if given the opportunity for the financial resources they need to really break through. At current financial levels, they're barely scratching the surface on the potential. They could do so much more with additional and funding.
AmpleHarvest.org is a non-profit that genuinely believes in their mission and works endlessly to fight hunger in America. Gary Oppenheimer has boundless energy devoted to AmpleHarvest.org. The world needs more organizations like this one!
I work with the AmpleHarvest.org campaign and have also used the Find a Local Food Pantry tool for gardeners to find several pantries in my community to bring produce donations to. AmpleHarvest.org helps to provide a sustainable solution to a serious problem; hunger across America. There are millions of gardeners in this country and if they're like the ones in my circle of family and friends, they've got excess produce that needs a home. Those in homes who regularly face bare shelves are more than excited to receive fresh delicious fruits and vegetables. It offers the opportunity for grassroots efforts to make an immediate and tangible difference. Not only does this campaign fight hunger, but also malnutrition by providing a healthy alternative full of essential vitamins and minerals which might otherwise be lacking in a diet dependent upon the processed foods often found on pantry shelves. AmpleHarvest.org offers a positive environmental impact as well by eliminating methane gas from produce that might otherwise be thrown away and left to rot, and because it's based on neighbors providing nutrition for neighbors, it cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise have been generated from long distance transport of food. In today's economy, food pantries are finding it increasingly difficult to find food. It costs a gardener pennies to grow a plant from seed and the bounty can provide food for months. Once local gardeners and farmers connect with their local food pantries, a continuous loop of giving is created for years to come. AmpleHarvest.org offers wonderful tools for food pantries and gardeners at absolutely no cost. That, combined with outreach and education efforts to create awareness about hunger in America, makes this a non-profit certainly deserving of 5 stars.
Last year I finally started planting the garden I always wanted. I had heard of AmpleHarvest's challenge to plant some extra so I put down 15 tomato plants instead of 5, and full packages of seeds where I only needed about 1/4 of the package. It turns out that we have so many families hurting in town financially that my extra produce never even made it to food pantries. I was simply delivering the bounty to local senior citizens that needed the food or having unemployed friends show up to help gather the harvest and take some home to their families. No-one was turned away, and the efforts of my little spade fed 10 families in need as well as my own. This year my 4-H students are going to assist with planting as well, and we hope for even more harvest to share. To that end we are trying to organize a seed swap in February to hook up gardeners with extra space with free seeds to plant. We are also gonig to ask for help from our local agricultural extension. Ample Harvest shows us we can work together to be good stewards of the land as well as each other. Celeste Hampton, The West Milford 4-H Velveteen Rabbit Club
In addition to the obvious benefit of providing food to the hungry, AmpleHarvest.org helps to connect people through the provision of a basic commodity - food. It taps into the essential "human- ness" of us all and our need to nurture and support one another. The program makes it easy for us all to do just that - share what we have with others to improve their situation and to meet an important human need of our own - to provide support and nurturing to others. When I was approached with a donation of three bushel baskets of lettuce, I was impressed with his generosity and overwhelmed with his with happiness and satisfaction in knowing what a difference he has made. AmpleHarvest.org provides the opportunity for this community of sharing to exist and benefit all.
AmpleHarvest.org is an amazing organization that connects individuals that have with individuals that need. It's a simple idea that has a major impact on families that need healthy, available food by connecting them will supply right in their local community. By providing fresh produce, families in not only receive sustenance but healthy alternatives to the canned food that pantries usually provide.
As a non-profit ED who has worked with small, grass-roots programs for almost 20 years we knew that AmpleHarvest.org was a winner from the first time we heard about their work. Gary Oppenheimer's vision of eliminating hunger with the help of home gardeners is brilliant. Everything about this program is just right--an accomplished founder with vision, technical expertise, and a palpable passion for others; and home gardeners with the ability and desire to share their bounty with others. AmpleHarvest.org solves the ‘excess supply not being able to reach demand’ problem which has always plagued the country’s food bank system. News reports repeatedly share that this country produces sufficient food to feed everyone; AmpleHarvest.org takes a huge step in making that a reality by organizing a previously under-tapped resource.
As a Master Gardener AND someone well aware of hunger, I was not happy when my prolific garden produced more than we could use... and excess food was left to rot in the garden. Some I was able to give away, but still more was lost.
In 2009, I created AmpleHarvest.org as a way for 40+ million home gardeners like me to be able to find a local food pantry eager for the excess harvest.
For me, the idea of turning dirt into dinner has always had an appeal.
AmpleHarvest.org is now giving millions of our needy neighbors the opportunity to feed their families with the same food we eat.... and in doing so, they are eating
-healthier (lower health care costs for America in the future)
-locally grown (smaller carbon foot print)
-and freshly harvested (kids learn that apples do not naturally come pre-sliced in cellophane and that carrots are not normally mushy)
food contributed by their neighbors.
Furthermore, the waste stream in America is reduced as is the methane emissions from municipal trash dumps.
In every sense of the word, AmpleHarvest.org is neighbors helping neighbors.
It is a one of a kind effort, backed by Google, the USDA, EPA, Rotary Int'l, VFW, AARP and many faith and service organizations across America that enables people to help the needy by reaching into their backyards instead of their back pockets.
I am the Director of the St. Vincent dePaul Food Pantry located at St. Peter's Church in Concord, NH. I registered with Ample Harvest a year ago. A local farmer called me last summer and wanted to donate produce to us. We talked and she has become a benefactor. We both got several distributions as the summer and fall progressed, and she invited us to help with the harvest on her farm. One of our volunteers did so, and we have let others know of her offer to share her produce directly with food pantry client families. She had needed help in difficult times earlier in her life and was glad to be able to "give back".
The AmpleHarvest.org concept is helping many farmers and food pantries and I wish it well going forward.
AmpleHarvest.org is an organization that helps gardeners give extra produce from their garden to a local food pantry. Lots of people in America need food pantries. I know of lots of gardeners with extra food in their gardens, and lots of pantries asking all the time for more food. This organization brings them together. A REALLY smart idea... created by a CNN Hero