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Clark County man leads by example, donating fresh produce to local food bank

The Clark County Food Bank is in need of produce donations and the desire for better quality food increases

CLARK COUNTY, Wash. — The Clark County Food Bank is always asking for food donations — but right now, fresh fruits and vegetables are at the top of the list as their supply is low.

"We are kind of almost always (in need), because it's one of those products where the more you get, the more people will take," said Emily Straw, director of technical program support for the Clark County Food Bank.

Straw told KGW that times have changed when it comes to what people will put on their kitchen table.

"Back in the day it was non-perishable food, emergency food ... but we know how important the quality of food is for folks, so dry food is still really good but produce is a huge part of people's diets now," said Straw.

Paul Speer lives in Clark County and grows his own produce — not only for his table, but for his community.

"We purposely overplanted fruit trees, so we have some leftover to share with other people," said Speer.

Speer said he donates between 500 and 1,000 pounds of produce once or twice a month.

To donate produce is as easy as dropping it off at the Clark County Food Bank. They will sort it all out and distribute it to their 50 cooperating nonprofits and 130 distribution sites.

"It's about being proud of the community I live in and helping other people and doing the right thing," said Speer.

And doing the right thing doesn't require an entire harvest like Paul Speer and his wife have grown. 

"If you've got a fruit tree and you can donate 10 apples, that's gonna be 10 more kids that's gonna have apples for lunch," he said.

If you have fruits or vegetables that you don't want to go to waste but you aren't able to drop them off at the Clark County Food Bank, according to Straw, you should contact the food bank and they will do their best to recruit volunteers to make it happen.

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