Eau Claire (WQOW)- One in six Americans is struggling to put food on the table. Meanwhile, backyard gardeners across the U.S. are growing more produce than they can use.
"We've been a part of Ample Harvest for three years and it's worked out really well to connect more people to us," says Feed My People Assistant Director Michelle Dingwall.
AmpleHarvest.org connects gardeners and farmers with nearly 5,000 food pantries and food banks in all 50 states.
The website lets growers know where they can drop off their extra produce so that it doesn't go to waste. Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire is one of those drop-off sites.
"We get calls from local orchard owners or farmers who might have surplus produce in their fields that they are not able to use," Dingwall remembers. "Last year, contributions from local gardeners and farmers came to about 30,000 pounds of fresh produce. So whether it was pumpkins or zucchini or green beans, it was all very much appreciated."
And the best part about the program --anyone can participate.
"Whether it's one person's backyard garden that has overproduced with zucchini or a farmer who has 40 acres or green beans that they can not use; so we are happy to accept any size of local produce donations and we look forward to improving that even more this year," Dingwall says.
Feed My People says fresh produce is so important because it allows them to provide healthier meals to those in need.