Good Samaritan offers fresh vegetables for free

Through Feeding America, KY Food Banks and the Farm to Food Bank Program, Logan County Good Samaritan is providing fresh produce to anyone in Logan County who needs it.

“The produce is distributed at Good Samaritan and Concerned Citizens on a first come, first serve basis to anyone in need,” said Denise McDonald, executive director for Good Samaritan.” No qualifications other than living in Logan County are required to receive produce through this program

Good Samaritan is open Monday through Thursday and Concerned Citizens is open Monday through Friday. Hours at both places are from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“The dedication of Ken O’Dell who picks up the produce, sometimes twice a week, has been invaluable to being able to continue this service,” said McDonald. “Last year we distributed 42,300 lbs of produce through this program. So far this year, we have distributed 27,081 lbs.”

According to the KY Association of Food Banks, Farms to Food Banks provides fresh, healthy produce to Kentuckians in need while reducing losses for farmers. They pay just below wholesale prices for Kentucky-grown surplus and Number 2 grade produce (perfectly edible but not saleable on the retail market) and distribute it at no cost to struggling Kentuckians through the food bank network.

Hungry Kentuckians in all 120 counties benefit from increased access to 25 types of fresh produce. All seven of the member food banks and 533 of their partner agencies received produce for distribution. Enough produce was distributed to fill half a plate full of fruits and vegetables for 4,104,800 meals.

There are 302 Kentucky farmers from 58 counties participating in 2015. These producers benefited from increased cash flow and reduced losses through a new market for surplus and Number 2-grade produce. The average amount paid to producers was $1,570.00; ten farm families received $10,000 or more.

The amount of wasted food in Kentucky was reduced. In 2015, they distributed 2,668,100 pounds of fresh produce that otherwise likely would have been plowed under because of a lack of a market for it. Less than 1 percent of the produce was lost to spoilage before distribution, which demonstrates the efficiency of the food bank distribution system.

The Farms to Food Banks program was developed by KAFB member God’s Pantry Food Bank and implemented in its eastern Kentucky service area in 2009 and 2010. KAFB has been implementing the program state-wide since 2011.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.comj or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.comj or call 270-726-8394.

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