I'm a huge fan of free stuff, and I'm really excited to help programs that provide free stuff. So, it was a shock to me that I haven't yet blogged about Forgotten Harvest! So, here it goes.
The mission of Forgotten Harvest is to relieve hunger in the Detroit metropolitan community by rescuing surplus, prepared, and perishable food and donating it to emergency food providers. The non-profit was formed in 1990 and currently is based in Oak Park, MI.
Food that is donated by the public as well as (literally) tons of food that is rescued from local grocery stores daily are then transported to local shelters, churches, and organizations that then sort and distribute the food to local hungry families.
A couple of weeks ago, I did a ride along with Curtis, one of the fantastic drivers for Forgotten Harvest. Starting at 7:30 am, we stopped at probably 10 different stores including Kroger, Plumb Market, Costco, and Edible Arrangements to pick up surplus food. This is not rotten food, mind you, damaged cans, ripped labels, slightly bruised or imperfect fruits or veggies. They even donate meat that is nearing the expiration. Everyone loves Curtis and his friendly demeanor made it easy to spend eight hours with him.
In the afternoon, we had three stops in Detroit to drop off the food. He sorted it out and volunteers from the organizations helped us unload the boxes. Bags of potatoes, rolls, one jug of fresh milk, boxes of fruit, cases of pop, some meat and lots of cans of food went to each of the three recipient locations. One of the churches had the neighbors walking up for boxes of food even before we pulled out of their parking lot.
It's an amazing organization and everyone there is friendly, helpful, and respectful beyond all else. So, if you have time to donate a few hours, they box food at their location M-F (and perhaps Saturday). Ron and I have helped out sorting donated food from various places around the country that drops off donations directly at the warehouse. Donating time at events is also another way you can help. Monetary donations or dropping off food are other ways you can help end hunger in metro-Detroit.
If you want more information, check out their website or LIKE them on Facebook (you don't even need a facebook account to read their entries). This past week, they've been sharing lots of national stories about fighting hunger throughout the nation.
Happy Father's Day!