SHERWOOD, Ore. -- At Amstad Produce, the humble potato has a starring role. Grown in the fields near Hermiston, they are trucked to Sherwood for sorting. The sorting is a beauty contest of sorts: only the potatoes with the best shape and size make it through.
But these potatoes have a lot more to offer than just good looks. They are delicious and filled with vitamins, the perfect combination for fighting hunger.
“There are a lot of hungry kids in Oregon,” says Jeff Urbach, general manager for Amstad Produce, “so anyway you can help you should.”
Farmers throughout the state are stepping up to help. Amstad Produce and many others have formed a group called “Farmers Ending Hunger.”
It’s a non-profit created to bring fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and grains to Oregon’s hungry.
“Who better to feed hungry people than farmers?” asks John Burt, Executive Director of Farmers Ending Hunger. Burt travels the state asking farmers to help by planting an extra acre for those in need.
“When I talk to farmers, they get it”, says Burt. “They get the idea that they are helping to feed hungry people. That’s what they care about.”
In just a few years, the farmers and ranchers have donated more than 8 million pounds of high quality food. Most of it is distributed through the Oregon Food Bank’s complex network. But ask a farmer why they are willing to give up their own profits to help others and the answer is quite simple. According to Urbach, “It’s the right thing to do.”
A reason as basic and beautiful as the produce they grow.
If you’d like to learn more about Farmers Ending Hunger, and how you can help by symbolically “adopting an acre,” go to www.farmersendinghunger.com