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AmpleHarvest.org helps more than 1,000 food pantries in 150 days

Posted: November 11, 2009 12:39 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2009 5:00 p.m.
 
West Milford, NJ  - AmpleHarvest.org announces its 1000th food pantry partner in celebration of World Food Day. Since the organization's inception only 150 days ago, AmpleHarvest.org has helped diminish hunger for Americans in every state through a
grassroots sign-up campaign.

Set up like a small retail store, Rosie's Place Groceries in Boston, Massachusetts became the 1000th pantry when they joined the fast-growing food pantry network. Rosie's provides food for the more than 700 households it serves each month as well as holiday meal packages distributed throughout November and December.

Demands on food pantries across the U.S. have increased dramatically in most areas leaving many food pantries pleading about their nearly bare shelves.

"Our goal is to register at least 500 additional food pantries before the end of the year particularly in the South during the winter months," said Gary Oppenheimer, founder of AmpleHarvest.org. "One in eight Americans, equal to the populations of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania combined, now rely on pantries to help feed them."

The United Nations estimates that more than 1 billion people around the world are undernourished. "We can combat our portion of that hunger at home in America using smart, ‘green-living' methods with existing resources," said Oppenheimer.

Most pantries are not listed in the Yellow Pages nor do they have an Internet presence. To address this, food pantries register their name, phone number, address and optional photograph along with the day(s) of the week produce is accepted from backyard gardeners on the AmpleHarvest.org web site. Millions of backyard gardeners can then easily share their excess garden bounty with those in need.

"Growing gardens has no age limit - young children to the elderly can make a difference and share excess produce," said Oppenheimer. "Recently a seventh grader/12-year old in North Carolina identified a food pantry via AmpleHarvest.org for a county 4-H community service project resulting in 100 pounds of fresh and organic produce donated by local growers."

World Food Day (WFD) is a world-wide event designed to increase awareness and year-round action to alleviate hunger. It is observed each October 16th in recognition of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

AmpleHarvest.org is an outgrowth of Sustainable West Milford, a 503(c)(1) sustainability organization and has received support from many groups including the USDA, Google, Inc., National Gardening Association, the Garden Writers of America, Rotary International, VFW, and numerous faith groups. The AmpleHarvest.org campaign is a grassroots effort to diminish hunger in America using existing resources without spending public or private monies, and has registered food pantries in all 50 states.

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