In 2001, California's Chrissie Porter came up with an idea that would change the lives of seniors, farmers and farm workers in her community. She saw farmers discarding food that couldn't be sold at market and seniors struggling to find healthy food to eat. And she brought them together to create the local anti-hunger initiative, Hidden Harvest.
The aim of Hidden Harvest is to "rescue" produce that is left behind in the fields and orchards after harvest and send it directly to the poor and hungry in her community. The group accomplishes this goal by hiring low-income farm workers to clean up a farmer's fields after harvest, packaging up perfectly good produce that couldn't be sold because of blemishes, overproduction or poor market price. Once packaged, this healthy, fresh food is sent free of charge to more than 60 local agencies in California’s Coachella Valley that help get food to low-income seniors and families.
According to a recent NBC News interview with Porter, Hidden Harvest has rescued 14 million pounds of produce since it began in 2001.
Earlier this year, former President Bill Clinton visited the Hidden Harvest project and gave it the official thumbs up from the Clinton Foundation's Health Matters initiative which aims to get healthy food into the hands of seniors.
Here's the full story from NBC News, including a segment with Clinton endorsing the program.
It seems like this could work in any community where there are farms and hungry citizens. Could this type of program work in your community?