Farm Share is Tacolandia’s charity of choice this year.
Farm Share’s mission is to alleviate hunger and malnutrition by recovering and distributing fresh and nutritious food to those who need it most.
Farm Share, using inmate labor and volunteers, re-sorts and packages an abundance of surplus food and distributes it to individuals, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, churches, and other organizations feeding the hungry in Florida — free of charge. This important distinction makes Farm Share critical to small community groups, located in poor neighborhoods and rural areas, which cannot afford to pay for food. By tapping into a vast supply of donated produce, we keep our costs low, while providing fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutritious food to the hungry and food insecure. However, the fact that we do not require our community partners to share the burden of our expenses makes Farm Share more reliant on donations from the public. If you do not help, we cannot help. Millions of Americans suffer from hunger and malnutrition. As family income levels decrease, funds available for food diminish, resulting in nutrient-deficient diets. America’s children and elderly are most severely affected by hunger and malnutrition. Farm Share is working to alleviate hunger and malnutrition by recovering and distributing fresh and nutritious food to those who need it most. Farm Share provides food to hundreds of non-profit organizations. Farm Share distributes more than 6 million household food packages – totaling 40 million pounds of food – each year to Florida families in need. More than 15 million pounds of fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables are trucked each year to participating community groups throughout Florida. Established in 1991, Farm Share is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to recovering, sorting, packing and distributing nutritious food for people in need. Farm Share administers a combination of USDA commodity programs and produce recovery operations.
Partnering With Farmers To Feed the Hungry
Did you know that half of every crop harvested is thrown away? If a farmer grows 100,000 pounds of tomatoes, usually about half of them must be thrown away. This is because if a tomato is slightly misshapen, discolored, too small, too big or blemished in any way, it will not meet the consumer demand for a “perfect” tomato and will therefore be rejected. This is true for many fruit and vegetable crops. To prevent trucks of produce from being rejected, crops are “culled” (hand sorted) after they are picked. About half goes into the truck on its way to the store. The other half goes into the truck going to the dump, or destined to be plowed under and sprayed with insecticide. The food being thrown is perfectly nutritious. This problem is no one’s “fault,” and is certainly not the farmer’s doing. No farmer enjoys throwing away half the fruits of his or her labor. However, day in and day out we end up feeding our landfills instead of our hungry. Thankfully, there is a solution to this dilemma. Instead of dumping, farmers donate this food to Farm Share to help feed the hungry and receive 200% of the cost of goods sold. (It’s a win, win situation).