In his bountiful garden in New Jersey, Gary Oppenheimer was producing more than he could eat. Rather than let his yield go to waste, he found a local food pantry that provides food to victims of domestic abuse. This idea grew into AmpleHarvest.org, a service that pairs gardeners with food pantries.
“Most gardeners grow more than they can use, preserve or give to friends. The idea is that if there’s food that you can’t use… get it to somebody else who needs it.”
With the motto “no food left behind” Oppenheimer has taken the food donation world by storm - signing up more than 7,000 food pantries across the country.
Roberta Cevasco, director of the St. Joseph Food Pantry in West Milford, New Jersey, estimates during peak growing season, nearly one-third of the food she distributes is fresh fruits and vegetables.
“People wouldn’t be able to afford this to go out to stores to buy it. So they do very much appreciate getting it,” says Cevasco.
Gary Oppenheimer lives in Northwestern New Jersey with his wife and dog, where he continues to expand AmpleHarvest.org.
To learn more about Gary’s work, head to www.AmpleHarvest.org/action
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