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AmpleHarvest.org The Story - From Fruit to Fruition Gary Oppenheimer AmpleHarvest.org Founder Master Gardener Community Garden Director Rutgers Environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "AmpleHarvest.org The Story - From Fruit to Fruition Gary Oppenheimer AmpleHarvest.org Founder Master Gardener Community Garden Director Rutgers Environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 AmpleHarvest.org The Story - From Fruit to Fruition Gary Oppenheimer AmpleHarvest.org Founder Master Gardener Community Garden Director Rutgers Environmental Steward

2 Outline 1.A brief look at Hunger in America 2.Sustainable West Milford Community Garden’s Ample Harvest and hunger in West Milford NJ 3.The bigger picture – AmpleHarvest.org and hunger in America 4.Tour of AmpleHarvest.org 5.Questions

3 Outline 1.A brief look at Hunger in America 2.Sustainable West Milford Community Garden’s Ample Harvest and hunger in West Milford NJ 3.The bigger picture – AmpleHarvest.org and hunger in America 4.Questions Goals 1.Inform gardeners about AmpleHarvest.org 2.Promote both programs to the state government level 3.Increase public awareness of AmpleHarvest.org 4.Diminish Hunger in America

4 One out of eight Americans needs food assistance, but can't get fresh produce from the local food pantry. Millions of American homeowners grow more food in their backyard gardens than they can possibly use. It Doesn't Have to Be This Way.... The AmpleHarvest.org campaign diminishes hunger in America by enabling backyard gardeners to share their excess garden produce with neighborhood food pantries.

5 According to the USDA, one in nine households was food insecure in That was before the current recession started. It is now one in eight.

6 According to the USDA, one in nine households was food insecure in That was before the current recession started. It is now one in eight. That is about equal to the population of Pennsylvania

7 According to the USDA, one in nine households was food insecure in That was before the current recession started. It is now one in eight. That is about equal to the population of Pennsylvania plus New Jersey

8 According to the USDA, one in nine households was food insecure in That was before the current recession started. It is now one in eight. That is about equal to the population of Pennsylvania plus New Jersey plus New York

9 According to the USDA, one in nine households was food insecure in That was before the current recession started. It is now one in eight. That is about equal to the population of Pennsylvania plus New Jersey plus New York... combined.

10 According to the USDA, one in nine households was food insecure in That was before the current recession started. It is now one in eight. That is about equal to the population of Pennsylvania plus New Jersey plus New York... combined. Approximately 39 million Americans are either hungry, or are at real risk of being hungry. Think of it as your state and the surrounding states too.

11 Part of the problem is that we waste a lot of food...

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13 ...and part of the problem is that gardeners at home and in community gardens often grow far more food than they can use, often leaving the excess to rot in the garden.

14 This is also part of the solution

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16 A community garden in West Milford (northern New Jersey) formed a committee to distribute its extra produce to local food pantries. They named it the Ample Harvest committee

17 The concept was very simple. The gardener harvests food for themselves and their friends. The rest goes to the needy in the community.

18 Ample Harvest works like this:

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29 In looking for all of the food pantries in West Milford, Google found the nearest one to be in Morris Plains – 25 miles away. West Milford actually has six... and there are more in the surrounding communities.

30 Across America, gardeners who would be looking to share their produce were going to have the same problem as West Milford had.... not knowing where to donate their garden bounty. The bigger picture......

31 Food Banks.... Approximately 250 Large wholesale operations that receive government and private food donations for redistribution to local agencies. Typically they ship out food weekly. Diminishing Hunger in America

32 Food Banks.... Approximately 250 Food Pantries... Estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 in America Usually small operations in houses of worship, civic buildings etc. They rarely offer fresh produce. Diminishing Hunger in America

33 Food Banks.... Approximately 250 Food Pantries... Estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 in America Usually small operations in houses of worship, civic buildings etc. They rarely offer fresh produce. Diminishing Hunger in America

34 Food Banks.... Approximately 250 Food Pantries... Estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 in America Usually small operations in houses of worship, civic buildings etc. They rarely offer fresh produce. Diminishing Hunger in America

35 Food Banks.... Approximately 250 Food Pantries... Estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 in America Usually small operations in houses of worship, civic buildings etc. They rarely offer fresh produce. Diminishing Hunger in America

36 Food Banks.... Approximately 250 Food Pantries... Estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 in America Usually small operations in houses of worship, civic buildings etc. They rarely offer fresh produce. Diminishing Hunger in America

37 Food Banks.... Approximately 250 Food Pantries... Estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 in America Usually small operations in houses of worship, civic buildings etc. They rarely offer fresh produce. Diminishing Hunger in America

38 The Challenge.... Many gardeners want to share their garden bounty with the needy Diminishing Hunger in America

39 The Challenge.... Many gardeners want to share their garden bounty with the needy Diminishing Hunger in America The problems Food banks are regional – not local 2.Local food pantries are difficult to find – usually not on the Internet and not in the yellow pages 3.Food banks do infrequent deliveries to local food pantries 4.Many food pantries have limited, or no refrigeration storage

40 The Challenge.... Many gardeners want to share their garden bounty with the needy Diminishing Hunger in America The problems Food banks are regional – not local 2.Local food pantries are difficult to find – usually not on the Internet and not in the yellow pages 3.Food banks do infrequent deliveries to local food pantries 4.Many food pantries have limited, or no refrigeration storage The solution.... A web site that functions as a “Google” enabling millions of American backyard / patio / rooftop / window-sill gardeners to easily find a food pantry eager for their produce

41 Initial concept

42 Two very talented web designers, Josh Kopf of Wayne NJ and Maureen Shryock of Missouri (a former food pantry client herself) donated their time and talent to build the web site into its final form

43 Initial concept Evangeline Gomez, Esq of Fahv Choi provided legal assistance Elaine Barbour of the Passaic County Master Gardeners program provided additional resource direction

44 Actual design

45 Most people using AmpleHarvest.org are either gardeners (or other donors) seeking a pantry to donate their produce (or other food) to or food pantry managers registering or updating the information about their food pantry.

46 If you work for a food pantry, you register on AmpleHarvest.org by entering the pantry information. You can come back and update/revise the information as often as desired. The “Additional Information” field allows a pantry to list store bought items they most need.

47 If you are a gardener looking for a food pantry, simply enter your address, town or zip code. Then select the number of miles you are willing to drive A listing of the pantries in that radius is displayed. You can then click on the pantry you’d like to go to.

48 The food pantry information is then displayed, along with an optional picture, if the pantry had uploaded it. You can even get detailed Google driving instructions from your home to the pantry if desired. AmpleHarvest.org also provides a link to the cooperative extension site for your own state if you want to get Master Gardener information to help improve your gardening skills.

49 Received backing and support from 1.Google Inc 2.USDA 3.Rotary International 4.VFW 5.Numerous Faith organizations 6.Center for Food Action and the New Jersey Food Bank and many more

50 Promoting AmpleHarvest.org to food pantries AND gardeners nationally via 1.Google AdWords and advertising 2.Master Gardener programs nationwide 3.Reaching out to faith groups 4.Twitter 5.Facebook 6.Bloggers 7.Press releases 8.National Gardening Association 9.Joint ventures with other *micro* hunger efforts such as FamilytoFamily.org and DinnerGarden.org

51 Promoting AmpleHarvest.org People nationwide are encouraged to print this flierflier and post it at their local garden shop, nursery or the bulletin board at their school, library, super market, health club, etc.

52 A look at AmpleHarvest.org online

53 AmpleHarvest.org Needs Your Help 1.Over 1,000 food pantries have registered in the first 150 days. There are more than 30,000 food pantries in America that have yet to learn about AmpleHarvest.org. 2.Millions of gardeners grow more food than they need, and then throw the excess away. It is a resource waste that also contributes to global warming. 3.Many food pantry clients would eat healthier food (less salt, less sugar) if they had access to fresh produce – thereby reducing our national long term health costs. 4.Many more people might actually start growing food (herbs, vegetables, fruit) if they knew that doing so could help diminish hunger in their community.

54 AmpleHarvest.org Needs Your Help You can help: 1.Promote AmpleHarvest.org to the state government (local and country too) to help create awareness. 2.Help more food pantries learn about, and then register on AmpleHarvest.org 3.Increase awareness among gardeners both to the dimension of hunger in the US and to the fact that they can help diminish it – at no cost to themselves 4.Encourage local communities, schools, libraries, businesses, etc. to replace some of their lawns with food gardens that can help provide for the needy and act as an educational tool too. 5.Inform people throughout the US that AmpleHarvest.org provides a way for them to see what store bought items their local food pantry needs.store bought

55 These are difficult economic times for many people. The AmpleHarvest.org campaign enables anyone to help their neighbors in need by reaching into their back yards instead of their back pockets.

56 Thank You. Questions?


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